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Empire State Building Facts

The Empire State Building is a world-famous skyscraper in New York’s Midtown Manhattan and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

The building is 1,454 feet tall and has 103 floors. From the open-air deck on the 86th floor and the top deck on the 102nd floor, visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of New York City and beyond.

Work began on the Empire State Building on March 17 1930 and just over year later, on May 1 1931, it was officially opened.

Empire State Building Facts for Kids

  • The Empire State Building stands in Manhattan, New York City, USA.
  • When including the antenna spire, the building is 1454 ft high.
  • There are 103 floors, 6,514 windows, and 73 elevators.
  • Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates designed the building.
  • Over 3,400 workers directly contributed to the construction of the building.
  • Construction took just 410 days, which was faster than expected.
  • There is a total of 2.7 million square feet of office space.
  • President Herbert Hoover switched the lights on May 1, 1931, from Washington, D.C., with a push of a button.

Empire State Building Construction

On March 17, 1930, construction of the Empire State Building began. 

Construction of the Empire State Building in the 1930s and early ’30s made it taller than the Chrysler Building by 204 feet. 

Designed as the world’s first 100+ story building. It took 3,000 workers a year and 45 days to build the building, including Sundays and holidays. 

There are steel columns and beams spanning the entire building. Due to its closely spaced columns, no open space can be found on the Empire State Building’s floors.

In 1972, the World Trade Center surpassed the Empire State Building as the tallest building in the world. 

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Facts for Kids video

The Empire State Building remains one of the most famous buildings ever constructed despite being overshadowed in height by six other buildings.

Empire State Building hit by Lightning

More than 25 to 100 lightning strikes occur at the building every year. Lightning rods protect the building, as well as the people inside, from fires and electrocutions.

Without a lightning rod, these strikes would conduct through the building’s wiring or even the people who work on one of its 103 floors, doing unimaginable damage.

Empire State Building Lobby

There is a glass and stainless steel bridge of a second-floor crossed by a modern steel canopy that leads to corridors on 33rd and 34th Streets.

The buildings lobby is simply amazing. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated it as a historic landmark.

Fun Facts

  • The main deck is the highest open-air viewpoint in all of New York and probably the most famous in the world. Lots of scenes for both television shows and movies have been filmed here. It runs around the entire building. You can see the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, Central Park, Times Square, and a lot more. There are also binoculars to help visitors focus in on the details of the city.
  • From the top deck, the view is even more impressive. If it’s not too cloudy, visitors can see up to 80 miles in any direction. In fact, on good days you can even see beyond the state of New York to New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
  • It is said that it was built because of a competition between two American businessmen, Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors. They wanted to see who could build the tallest building. The Chrysler Building was already being constructed when work started on the Empire State Building. Raskob asked architect William Lamb to design his building which, in the end, won the competition!
  • Around 3,400 workers helped to build the skyscraper. It took just 410 days, which was much faster than people had thought. The building got its name from New York’s nickname: the Empire State. It was the world’s tallest skyscraper from 1931 until the former World Trade Center was built in 1973.
  • There are lots of stores, restaurants, and bars in the building, from a sushi restaurant to a juice bar, a pharmacy to the Empire State Building’s official store. Lots of businesses also have their offices here. That’s why it actually has its very own zip code – 10118!
  • The building’s lights change color during the year to honor different occasions and organizations. The LED lights can sparkle in 16 million different colors and can light up in time with the music.
  • The building is built in the Art Deco Style, with lots of geometric designs. In 2009, work began to restore the inside of the lobby to its original 1930s design.
  • By 1976, 50 million people had visited the observation decks of the Empire State Building. Each year, around four million people visit!
  • On Valentine’s Day, people can get married on the top of the Empire State Building – but not on any other day of the year! There is a competition each year that couples can enter. Those that win are allowed to get married at the Empire State Building!
  • There are 6,514 windows and 73 elevators in the building. From ground level to the 102nd floor, there are 1,872 steps. There’s an annual race to the 86th floor in which competitors must run up 1,576 steps!
  • The outside of the skyscraper was cleaned for the first time in 1962. It took 30 people six months to wash the building completely!

FAQ

Question: When is the Empire State Building open to visitors?
Answer: It is open every day of the year, from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m.

Question: What instrument can you often hear being played on the 86th-floor observatory?
Answer: You can hear a saxophone!