Construction of the Empire State Building

Construction of the Empire State Building

Categories: Design and Architecture | History | North America

From its construction in 1931 until the completion of the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. This building has 102 floors, its height is 381 meters, and the Empire State Building was built in just 410 days! It was built three months earlier, with a sharp budget cut during the Great Depression. Photographer Lewis Vikes Hine took these photos in 1931, during the construction of the famous skyscraper. Looking at some of them, you are amazed how the builders were not afraid to work at such a height.

Construction of the Empire State Building

At the beginning of the building's operation, its spire was intended to be used as a mooring mast for airships. The 102nd floor was a mooring platform with gangplanks for climbing onto the airship. However, the idea of an air terminal was deemed untenable due to security concerns. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

In 1964, a floodlight lighting system was installed on the tower in order to highlight the top in a color scheme corresponding to any events, memorable dates or holidays. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

In 2003, Paul Craik set a record that has not yet been broken — 9 minutes 33 seconds. In addition, competitions are held among firefighters and police officers, who, unlike ordinary runners, must run with full gear. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Excavation work on the site began on January 22, 1930, and the construction of the tower itself began on March 17 - St. Patrick's Day. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The construction site employed 3,400 workers, mostly emigrants from Europe, as well as several hundred builders and installers of steel structures from the Mohawk tribe. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The photographs of photographer Lewis Vikes Hine are not only important historical sources depicting the stages of construction of the building, but also reflect the life and working conditions of workers of that time. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The construction took only 410 days. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Approximately four and a half floors were built in a week, and in the most intensive period, 14 floors were erected in 10 days. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The official opening took place on May 1, 1931, when U.S. President Herbert Hoover turned on the lighting of the building by pressing a button in Washington. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Construction of the Empire State Building

More than 30 suicides have been committed here during the entire operation of the building. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The building has a height of 443.2 m to the top of the spire and 381 m to the roof. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The building was included in the top ten most beautiful buildings in Manhattan, taking 4th place. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The tower has 6,500 windows and 73 elevators. The building weighs 331,000 tons, is built on a two-story foundation and is supported by a steel structure weighing 54,400 tons. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

It took ten million bricks and 700 kilometers of cable. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The staircase has 1860 steps, where a competition for the fastest ascent is held once a year. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

There are about 1,000 offices in the tower, the number of employees is 21,000 people, which makes the Empire State Building the second largest building in America after the Pentagon. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

It is made in a modest but elegant Art Deco style. Unlike most modern skyscrapers, the facade of the tower is made in a classic style. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Construction of the Empire State Building

Since then, the illumination of the building has become a unique sight: each day of the week has its own color, and on holidays and significant dates, the skyscraper is illuminated by special combinations of colors. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The observation deck on the 86th floor has a 360-degree viewing angle. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

In 1933, the movie "King Kong" was released, in which a battle with a giant gorilla took place on the roof of the Empire State Building. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

On February 5, running competitions are held on the stairs of the Empire State Building. Well-trained runners manage to overcome 1576 steps of the building — from the 1st to the 86th floor - in a few minutes. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Construction of the Empire State Building

The building was built with the money of John Rockefeller Jr. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The hall is 30 meters long and 3 floors high, decorated with marble and decorated with 8 panels depicting 7 wonders of the world and the eighth is the Empire State Building itself. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Taking the elevator in a minute, you can get to the observation deck on the 86th or 102nd floor. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

In 1986, the Empire State Building was included in the list of National Historic Monuments of the USA. (Lewis Wickes Hine / NYPL Digital Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The architecture of the building belongs to the Art Deco style. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The tower got its name from the common name of the American state of New York, which is called the "imperial state". (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

When the Empire State Building officially opened on May 1, 1931, the United States of America was experiencing an era of economic depression. Therefore, it was not possible to rent out all the premises, and the building was called the "Empty State Building". (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

Traditionally, in addition to the usual lighting, the illumination of the building is carried out in the colors of New York sports teams on the days when the matches of these teams are held in the city. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

Construction of the Empire State Building

The skyscraper is one of the main symbols of New York, the "star" of many films and simply the national pride of Americans. (Lewis Wick­es Hine / NYPL Dig­i­tal Gallery)

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