Empire State Building

STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark


CLIENT: Empire State Company

ARCHITECT: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon

DATE: 1931

STYLE: Art Deco

Al Smith Herbert Hoover Lamb & ... VIEW ALL

Designated May 19, 1981

The Empire State Building is a symbol of New York City and the building boom of the affluent 1920’s. It was built as a speculative office building by the Empire State Company which was led by former General Motors executive John J. Raskob and former Governor Al Smith.

With an average construction rate of four and a half floors per week it only took thirteen and a half months to complete. Many of the workers were Irish and Italian immigrants, with a sizable minority of Mohawk ironworkers from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal.

The building’s large antenna was originally designed to be a dirigible mast and the observation deck was for passengers boarding and exiting. Although it was never used for its intended function the observation deck helped make the Empire State Building one of the most famous and visited buildings in the world, and the antenna helped to make it the tallest building in the world from 1931-1972. In a ceremony held in Washington D.C., President Herbert Hoover officially opened the Empire State Building to the public, remotely pressing a button that illuminated the building’s iconic lights on May 1, 1931.

Both the exterior and the ground floor interior are designated New York City Landmarks and it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

 

STATUS Designated Exterior and Interior Landmark

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The Neighborhood

Midtown

Midtown is home to some of the city's most iconic buildings, including the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the headquarters of the United Nations, as well as the Rockefeller Center, Broadway, and Times Square. Midtown is sometimes split into three sections including Midtown...

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Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance

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Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site

Local Voices

“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”

Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension

Local Voices

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Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society

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