Empire State

Empire State
interior design new york

Image by drp
The Empire State Building is cemented in both New York and U.S. History. Built during the Depression, the building was the center of a competition between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (creator of General Motors) to see who could build the tallest building.

From the time the construction began on March 17, 1930, the building’s steel frame rose at an average rate of four and a half floors per week. To speed construction, the building’s posts, beams, windows and window frames were made in factories and put together on the site. 60,000 tons of steel was brought in from the steel mills in Pennsylvania, 310 miles away, by train, barges and trucks.

William Lamb, an architect at the firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, was chosen to design the Empire State Building. His design was influenced by the perpendicular style of another architect, Eliel Saarinen. He happened to base most of his design on a simple pencil. The clean, soaring lines inspired him, and he modeled the building after it. He also decided that the columns of stone would be easier to put up if they were separated from the windows with metal strips. The strips covered the stone’s edges, which meant the stone could be rough-cut at the quarry and then heaved into place without any final cutting or fitting, thus saving a great amount of time. The stonework began in June of 1930, and was completed in November. The windows were attached with metal brackets between the stone columns, with aluminum panels above and below each level.

By October 3, 1930, there were 88 floors finished and only 14 to go. These top floors took the form of a distinctive tower of glass, steel, and aluminum. The tower is about 200 ft. high and topped with a dome.

In 1945 an Army Air Corps B-25 crashed into the Building at the 79th floor level in a dense fog. Fourteen people died. Damage to the Building was million but the structural integrity of the building was not affected.

The building’s dirigible mast (now the base of the TV tower) was originally designed as a mooring mast for Air blimps (unfortunately because of several unsuccessful attempts and the volatile wind conditions at 1,350 feet, the idea was ultimately abandoned).

Located on the 86th floor, 1,050 feet (320 meters) above the city’s bustling streets, the Observatory offers panoramic views from within a glass enclosed pavilion and from the surrounding open-air promenade. Since it opened to the public in 1931, almost 110 million visitors have thrilled to the awe-inspiring vision of the city beneath them.

The Empire State Building was recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1986 by the National Parks Services, I.S. Department of the Interior and a commemorative plaque was awarded.



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