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Empire State Building
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Empire State Building
(U.S. National Historic Landmark)
Location: 350 Fifth Avenue (NOTE THE ANSWER IS 6,500 windows )
New York, New York 10118
Architect: Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
Architectural style(s): Art Deco
Designated as NHL: June 24, 1986 
Added to NRHP: November 17, 1982 
NRHP Reference#: 82001192
The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Its name is derived from the nickname for the state of New York. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City and New York State.
The Empire State Building has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA. The building is owned and managed by W&H Properties.
1.1 Design and construction
1.3 Dirigible (airship) terminal
1.4 1945 plane crash
1.5 Tallest skyscraper for 41 years
2.2 Observation decks
2.3 New York Skyride
3 Broadcast stations
4 Empire State Building Run-Up
6 In popular culture
9 Further reading
10 See also
11 External links
The present site of the Empire State Building was first developed as the John Thomson Farm in the late 18th century. At the time, a stream ran across the site, emptying into Sunfish Pond, located a block away. The block was occupied by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in the late 19th century, and was frequented by The Four Hundred, the social elite of New York.
 Design and construction
The Empire State Building was designed by Gregory Johnson and his architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, which produced the building drawings in just two weeks, using its earlier design for the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio, as a basis. The building was actually designed from the top down. The general contractors were Starrett Brothers and Eken, and the project was financed by John J. Raskob. The construction company was chaired by Alfred E. Smith, a former Governor of New York.
A worker bolts beams during construction; the Chrysler Building can be seen in the background.Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction on the building itself started symbolically on March 17?St.Patrick's Day?per Al Smith's influence as Empire State, Inc. president. The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. According to official accounts, five workers died during the construction. Governor Smith's grandchildren cut the ribbon on May 1, 1931.
The construction was part of an intense competition in New York for the title of the world's tallest building. Two other projects fighting for the title, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were still under construction when work began on the Empire State Building. Each held the title for less than a year, as the Empire State Building surpassed them upon its completion, just 410 days after construction commenced. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building's lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Ironically, the first use of tower lights atop the Empire State Building, the following year, was for the purpose of signalling the victory of Franklin D. Roosevelt over Hoover in the presidential election of November 1932.
The building's opening coincided with the Great Depression in the United States, and as a result much of its office space went unrented. In its first year of operation, the observation deck took in approximately 2 million dollars, as much money as its owners made in rent that year. The lack of renters led New Yorkers to deride the building as the "Empty State Building". The building would not become profitable until 1950. The famous 1951 sale of The Empire State Building to Roger L. Stevens and his business partners was brokered by the prominent upper Manhattan real-estate firm Charles F. Noyes & Company for a record $51 million. At the time, that was the highest price ever paid for a single structure in real-estate history.
Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippines ex-president Ferdinand Marcos, was offered the property in the 1980s when the couple decided to buy New York real estate. She rejected it at $750 million on account of its being "too ostentatious".
 Dirigible (airship) terminal
The building's distinctive Art Deco spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles. The 102nd floor was originally a landing platform with a dirigible gangplank. A particular elevator, traveling between the 86th and 102nd floors, was supposed to transport passengers after they checked in at the observation deck on the 86th floor. However, the idea proved to be impractical and dangerous after a few attempts with airships, due to the powerful updrafts caused by the size of the building itself. A large broadcast tower was added to the top of the spire in 1952.
 1945 plane crash
Crash by a U.S. Army B-25 bomber on July 28, 1945At 9:40 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog by Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., accidentally crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 79th and 80th floors, where the offices of the National Catholic Welfare Council were located. One engine shot through the side opposite the impact and fell on a nearby building; the other plummeted down an elevator shaft. The resulting fire was extinguished in 40 minutes. Fourteen people were killed in the incident. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived a plunge of 75 stories inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall recorded. Despite the damage and loss of life, the building was open for business on many floors on the following Monday. The crash helped spur the passage of the long-pending Federal Tort Claims Act of 1946, as well as the insertion of retroactivity provisions in the law, allowing people to sue the government for the accident.
 Tallest skyscraper for 41 years
The Empire State Building remained the tallest skyscraper in the world for 41 years, and stood as the world's tallest man-made structure for 23 years. It was surpassed as tallest building by the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City, and the second-tallest building in the United States.
Over the years, more than thirty people have committed suicide from the top of the building. The first suicide occurred even before its completion, by a worker who had been laid off. The fence around the observatory terrace was put up in 1947 after five people tried to jump during a three-week span. In 1979, Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back onto the 85th floor and left with only a broken hip. The building was also the site of suicides in 2004 and 2006. The most recent suicide was by a lawyer who leapt from the 69th floor on Friday, April 13, 2007.
Empire State Building
Empire State Building was the world's tallest building from 1931 to 1972.*
Preceded by Chrysler Building (in the background of the picture)
Surpassed by World Trade Center (1972)
Location 350 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10118
Coordinates 40?44′54.36″N 73?59′08.50″W / 40.7484333, -73.985694 (Empire State Building)Coordinates: 40?44′54.36″N 73?59′08.50″W / 40.7484333, -73.985694 (Empire State Building)
Antenna/Spire 1,472 ft (448.7 m)
Roof 1,250 ft (381.0 m)
Top floor 1,224 ft (373.2 m)
Floor count 102
Architect Shreve, Lamb and Harmon
Contractor Starrett Brothers and Eken
Management W&H Properties
*Fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to highest structural or architectural top; see the list of tallest buildings in the world for other listings.
Street level view of the Empire State BuildingThe Empire State Building rises to 1,250 feet (381 m) at the 102nd floor, and including the 203-foot (62 m) pinnacle, its full height reaches 1453 feet 8 9/16th inches (443 m). The building has 85 stories of commercial and office space representing 2,158,000 sq ft (200,500 m2). It has an indoor and outdoor observation deck on the 86th floor. The remaining 16 stories represent the Art Deco tower, which is capped by a 102nd-floor observatory. Atop the tower is the 203-foot (62 m) pinnacle, much of which is covered by broadcast antennas, with a lightning rod at the very top.
The Empire State Building was the first building to have more than 100 floors. It has 6,500 windows and 73 elevators, and there are 1,860 steps from street level to the 102nd floor.