It is without a doubt that the Empire State Building is one of the most recognised skyscrapers in the world.  Maybe we should thank King Kong or maybe it’s because it held the title of tallest building in the world from its completion in 1931 to the completion of the first World Trade Tower in 1970.  [Not so fun fact: with the collapse of the World Trade Towers during the 911 disaster in 2001, the Empire State Building regained it’s title until 2012].  In an era of great prosperity in New York, in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s there was a race between Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street Bank to build the tallest building, each adding more floors to try and outdo the other when in August 1929, General Motor Executive, John J Raskob decided to join the race and built the 102 storey,  443 m (incl tower) Empire State Building.    What is more impressive is that this extraordinary art deco skyscraper which was built in the ziggurat design (pyramidal stepped temple tower) was completed in just 410 days!!!   With a work force of 3400 labourers, the building was going up so fast that they had already completed the 30th floor when the designs of the ground floor  lobby were completed.  This is an amazing feat, considering that they used 5,664 cubic metres of Indiana limestone and granite, 10 million bricks, and 730 tons of aluminium and stainless steel.

What you may not know; in a time where people thought airship travel (Blimps) would have been the craze the Empire State Building was built to have an Airship docking station.  However, enthusiastic designers underestimated the wind speeds at 443 m and after two extremely risky failed attempts to try and dock an airship, the project was aborted.  Another amazing fact is that on the 28 July 1945, a B-25 Bomber crashed into the 78th and 79th floor of the skyscraper.  The incident had minimal casualties, only 13 people died, and the fire which raged over various floors was extinguished within 40 minutes and the building was reopened after 2 days.  Just like any Empire impressive indeed!