Empire State Building
Empire State Building is the highest emblematic building in New York and the second largest in the USA after Sears Tower in Chicago. It is situated at Manhattan island in residential area midtown at Fifth avenue and was built on the place of the old Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
Empire State was created out of the rivalry of two leading magnates at that time – Walter Chrysler and John Raskob, the founder of General motors. Raskob assigned the design of the building to Shreve, Lamb and Hermon architectural company. The design was ready only in two weeks and combines the most unique qualities for its time – the highest, most modern, beautiful, elegant and fantastic building.
Its construction began on 22 January 1930. Around 4 thousand people worked at the construction. In September 1930 the head of the construction project Alfred Smith put a symbolic main stone of the building with a silver plate in front of audience of 5 thousand people.
The skyscraper was finished only in 410 days and was opened officially on 1 May 1931 by the president of the United States - Hoover. The height of the giant is 381 m and has 102 floors, 73 high-speed lifts, 1860 steps, 6500 windows up to the 102-nd floor. The main construction of the skyscraper is up to the 88 floor, the rest 14 floors are formed like a tower of glass, steel and aluminium. The top of the tower is decorated by a cupola. It is called the eighth wonder of the world. An observatory platform is situated on the 86-th floor, from where a magnificent panorama view to New York is revealed. The floor above the 102-nd was intended for landing of helicopters, and from here the visitors had to be transport to the 86-th floor by a lift. But this undertaking was rejected because of the air currents, caused by the skyscraper itself. In return of this at the top of the giant are situated many-coloured searchlights, which lights change depending on the seasons and the official holidays like the Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year and etc. After the building of the two towers of the World Trade Center, Empire State Building was no longer the highest building in New York. But after they were destroyed on 11 September 2001, the skyscraper Empire State has the leadership as per height. It is one of the most remarkable buildings in the USA and one of the exceptional examples for the modern “Art Deco” style.
This emblematic building can be seen in many films and serials. As early as 1933 the giant gorilla King Kong climbs it in order to run away from its pursuers in the film. During the next years Empire State can be seen in the films Friends, Sex and the city, Gossip girl and many others.
In 1986 the skyscraper Empire State Building was announced for a national historical landmark. At the moment it accommodates offices, banks and state institutions.