Standing at an impressive 1,454-feet, the Empire state building is one of the tallest freestanding structures in the United States of America. Located in Manhattan, the building attracts numerous tourists every day, from around the world. In fact, the iconic building has been featured in more than 250 movies, with some of the most memorable being King Kong, An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, and The Amazing Spider-man. The Empire State is more than just a skyscraper – it is the cultural representation of USA.
However, we bring a few facts about the building that are worth reading:
- The building completed in 1931, but it was even a decade earlier that skyscrapers were being built in New York, to represent its booming economy. Some of the competing buildings to the Empire State were Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street’s Bank of Manhattan building. In fact, on learning about the whopping height of Empire State building, Chrysler fixed a stainless steel spire to the top of his skyscraper, so that his building reaches record 1,048 feet. However, Raskob and Smith – the designers of the Empire State building, created even a taller design. Hence, it remained the tallest for 40 years, till World Trade Center tower in 1970.
- It took only 20 months for the entire project completion, ranging from plan, design, and construction. 3,400 men were utilized for its assembling, and the building finished ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, five workers were killed during the construction process.
- Because of 1929 stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression, the Empire state Building was initially considered to be a financial flop. Even lesser than 25 percent of the building was occupied in the beginning. The upper half remained empty in the 1930s, and numerous stunts were done to attract renters. The buildings became profitable after the World War II.
- On July 28, 1945, Army B-25 bomber crashed into the building because of heavy fog. It caused an intense explosion and building’s interior was filled with debris. It even ravaged a fire in several floors, however firefighters managed to extinguish it quickly and the undamaged sections even reopened within two days of the incident.
- Due to the crash, one of the elevator shaft of the building was also damaged, and a 19-year-old elevator operator, Betty Lou Oliver survived its plummet from 75th floor to the sub basement. It was because the destroyed elevator cable had collected at the bottom of the shaft, which provided a cushion to the blow. She did however receive severe injuries including broken neck and back.
- Illegally, in 1986, Alastair Boyd and Michael McCarthy, two British thrill seekers parachuted from the observation deck which is at the 86th floor. They did land safely but McCarthy got arrested and Boyd escaped.
- During the foggy nights, one can notice that tower lights are turned off. It is because the lights can confuse migratory birds and they can fly into the building. Well, apart from people, even birds are not allowed to reach the observation decks and jump off the roofs either.
- 1933’s movie “King Kong,” was so famous for its ape-scaling-skyscraper, that on the 50th anniversary of the film, an 84-foot inflatable King Kong – shaped balloon was attached to the building.
- About 36 people have jumped off the building and died, since its construction. The most famous of them all was of a woman named Evelyn McHale. These deaths have been of earlier years. Owing to the 24/7 surveillance, people do not visit the top to take their lives, but to embrace the magnificent 18-mile view.
References: history.com, edition.cnn.com