Thursday, May 20, 2010

Empire State Building

Latitude: 40°44'55.57"N
Longitude: 73°59'7.29"W

The tallest building in the world for 41 years at 1252 feet, and appearing in over 90 films, the Empire State Building is certainly among America's most recognizable buildings. Not only an engineering feat, the project had an extremely aggressive schedule and a tight budget. The basic criteria in the design was put forth by the owner, Jacob Raskob of General Motors, "How high can you make it so that it won't fall down?" His main concern was to eclipse the nearby Chrysler Building, being built at the time of design and completed one year prior. The design was inspired by the shape of a simple pencil, and also the elegant designs of Finish architect Eliel Saarinen, like the Gulf Building, built in 1929. What the building lacks in gingerbread, it makes up for in mass. (60,000 tons of steel).

The storefront at the lobby is art deco brushed stainless steel and accented with diner style signbands. Very stylish and contemporary with 1931.

At night from a distance, the building tower becomes a beacon and truly one of the defining landmarks of the city. During the day, however, the building is not so easy to find from midtown street level amidst the surrounding towers.

Check out the vintage photos here

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