Empire State Building


Empire State Building

With 102 awe-inspiring floors, The Empire State Building is arguably the most famous building in the United States. For nearly four decades, from 1931 to 1970, it held the world record as the tallest building in the world, only ceding that title to the World Trade Center. The building has earned such an iconic status the American Institute for Architects even voted it number one on a list of America's Favorite Architecture.

While the Art Deco skyscraper is no longer among the tallest buildings, it has had an indelible impact. Its stylized architecture and distinctive silhouette in the city skyline have earned it more than 250 television and movie appearances. It’s no wonder more than 4 million people visit the attraction every single year.

The History of The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building was the result of a race for the tallest building. During the late 1920s, there was a boom in New York's economy that led many architects to try and construct the largest skyscraper. At the time, the primary competition included the Bank of Manhattan Building and the Chrysler Building.

Walter Chrysler ignited the race after learning the Empire State Building had plans to be the first 1,000-foot building in the world. Making sure never to let his blueprints go public, Chrysler modified his skyscraper to take the record. When it opened, the Chrysler Building peaked at 1,048 feet, thanks in part to the 121-foot spire on the top.

John J. Raskob and former New York Governor Al Smith were the minds behind the Empire State Building, and Chrysler's actions did not deter them. Instead, they went back to the drawing board and concocted a taller structure.

The resulting design soared 1,250 over Mid-Town Manhattan, easily eclipsing the Chrysler Building. The Empire State Building retained its crown for nearly four decades.

The building was modeled after different Art Deco structures in the United States. The primary sources of influence were the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, NC and the Carew Tower in Cincinnati. In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of its opening, the Empire State Building's general manager even sent a card to the representatives of the Reynolds Building with the inscription, "Happy Anniversary, Dad."

Interestingly, despite its unprecedented size, builders were able to construct the Empire State Building reasonably quickly. The design, planning, and construction process only took 20 months from start to finish. In total, it required 3,400 workers per day to assemble the structure.

The Observation Deck

The Empire State Building offers a stunning 360-degree view of Manhattan. Whether you are in town for the week or have been a life-long resident, no trip to the area is complete without a visit to the world-renowned observation deck at the top. For a reasonable entrance fee, visitors can get unobstructed views of Madison Square Park, Time Square, the Theater District, and far beyond. It is said that, on a clear day, one can see up to 80 miles in every direction—all the way to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts!

The observation decks are on the 86th and 102nd floors, and the building is open to the public every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Ticket prices start at $32 for children and $36 for adults. If you have a CityPass booklet, though, admission is free for your first two visits. This is an experience you cannot put a price tag on, however, so be sure to add this stop to your touring itinerary.

Final Verdict

Discover for yourself what makes the Empire State Building a one-of-a-kind marvel. The spectacular views and rich history are worth the trip alone. Visitors can also stop by the building for dinner at the State Grill and Bar, guided tours, and commemorative photos.

Directions from the Empire State Building to TheLiquorStore.com


Up Next: The Metropolitan Museum of Art