If you are into visiting building and getting great views from observation decks, then there is none other than the Empire State Building in New York City. This is where I culminated my desire to see each building in America that once was the tallest in the world.
The Empire State Building was completed on April 11, 1931 after taking only 13 months to complete as it rose four and a half floors a week. This was in the midst of a huge construction boom in the early 30’s as 40 Wall Street building, Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and Rockefeller Center were being built in the “Race into the Sky”, as popular media called it at the time, and was representative of the country’s optimism in the 1920s.
Going up the Empire State Building is a wonderful experience and needs to be experienced by everyone, but it is not cheap. A ticket to the 86th floor observatory is around $40 and if you want to skip the lines you can pay an extra $30 (official website). Another way around the lines, that are “as legendary as the building itself”, is to visit on weekday between 8am-11am or 10pm-2am. Once at the 86th floor observatory you may also chose to visit the 102nd floor observatory also for an additional $20. I chose to do this
since you got to go up the spire and visit what was going to be the waiting room for blimps that the tower was supposed to be a mooring for. Of course, this never happened due to the high winds at this level and the blimps quickly went out of fashion, but I still was excited to see the structure of the tower anyways. Turns out the elevator was encased, and I did not get to see anything on the way up and so I do not think it was worth it. I have read that the 102nd floor is closed the beginning of this year for renovations and supposedly they are going to open up around the glass elevator so you can see the structure on the way up. We will see.
The Empire State Building has been featured in many movies with King Kong climbing the outside of the building in 1933 being the first. Of course, who can forget meeting a long lost love in An Affair to Remember (1957) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) or those darn aliens blowing it up in Independence Day (1996).
With 102 floors and a total height of 1454 ft at the top of the antenna, the Empire State Building stood as the tallest building in the world for almost 40 years, but it is still one of the nation’s favorite building!