The wind blows in your face on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building. This is the open-air Observation Deck. The 360° view of New York is unforgettable. You can see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, numerous skyscrapers, the grey water of the Hudson River, the green, almost unbelievable vastness of Central Park. If you go 16 stories higher, you find yourself at the Top Deck which offers a panoramic view of the concrete jungle below with all the iconic buildings and breathtaking sights.
The construction of the Empire State Building started on March 17, 1930 and it was completed only 410 days later. The tower was officially opened on May 1, 1931. It has 103 stories and with its height of 443,2 m (including the antenna spire) it became the tallest building in the world surpassing the beautiful Chrysler Building. It kept this position for the record time of almost 40 years – until 1970. Currently the Empire State Building is the second tallest skyscraper in New York City; One World Trade Center took the title in 2012. Empire State building received its name from the nickname of New York – the Empire State but unfortunately, it used to have another name as well – the ‘Empty State Building’. This was due to the fact that this enormous office building opened shortly after the Great Depression which started in 1929 and a lot of those offices remained unrented for years.
In spite of the bumpy start, the Empire State Building is now one of the most famous tourist attractions in New York. More than 4 million people visit it each year. The high-ceiling lobby, Art Deco features and 73 elevators as well as the magnificent view of the City are some of the aspect that make this tower so interesting. In 2007 it was named ‘America’s Favourite Architecture’ and people all around the world agree. This spectacular building has also been featured in various movies – the famous ‘King Kong’ (1933), the romantic ‘Love Affair’ and ‘Sleepless in Seattle’, many cartoons and disaster films and even novels.
Very impressive is the top of the tower, particularly at night. It is covered in LED lighting that can display more than 16 million colours. And even though the top is usually lit in white, the colour changes in order to honour special events and celebrations. The top of the tower turns green for St. Patrick’s Day, autumnal for Thanksgiving; red, white and blue in celebration of Memorial Day.