Thursday, March 31, 2011


"“The Eiffel Tower is the Empire State Building after taxes”"

Construction on the Empire State Building began January 22, 1930 in the midst of the great depression. At the time the location was not considered great because it was so far from the public transportation stations, so the property was relatively cheap for downtown New York City.

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 103rd floor. It has a total floor area of 2,768,591 sq ft; the base of the Empire State Building is about 2 acres. The building houses 1,000 businesses, and has its own zip code, 10118.

The Empire State Building has 70 miles of pipe, 2,500,000 ft of electrical wire, and about 9,000 faucets. The entire building weighs about 370,000 tons. The exterior of the building was built using Indiana limestone panels.

The Empire State Building was largely empty for years due to the poor economic times, and did not make a profit on rents and the observation deck until 1950. It was built before OSHA, before most safety standards, before air transportation was much of an issue. These men wore gloves and boots but had no ear protection, no safety lines, just luck, courage, and skill. Here are a few old photos of the men at work, high above New York:

According to historical reports, only 5 men died working on the building, one of whom was hit by a truck on the ground. The Empire State Building cost $40,948,900 to build. It sold for $51,000,000 in 1951.


Unknown said...

Those are some great pictures and an interesting story. I just wish I was able to actually care a little bit about the east coast. I just don't I don't care about New York really at all.

eric said...

Amazing. And people wonder why we can't do great things today... because you can' build the Empire State Building on top of a trampoline, that's why!