Construction Of The Empire State Building Essays Outline

About Empire State Building

As the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1971, the Empire State Building is the ancestor of all supertall skyscrapers and makes a lasting impression in the minds of all who have stood beneath, or atop, this international icon. Among the accolades and achievements that this tower claims, perhaps the most impressive is that it took less than 14 months to construct, a timeline that is unimaginable for a building of similar height today. Marveling at the ability of steel-framed buildings to support added weight, architects tested the material at a supreme scale. The art deco style of the building is appropriately capped with an ornamental spire, one that urban legend claims was designed as an anchorage point for dirigibles, but was actually built to ensure the building would be taller than the Chrysler Building. With its thousands of programmable LED lights, it has become one of the most memorable features of the building.

As part of its total redevelopment for 21st Century companies, in 2009 a $106 million energy efficiency retrofit was launched, which has transformed it into one of the most sustainable buildings in the world of any age. These upgrades realize a yearly savings of $4.4 million in energy and operational costs. The retrofit ranged from upgrades to efficient MEP systems to the reconstruction of all 6,514 windows into units that have 400% the thermal performance of normal dual pane windows; from the installation of redundant fiber optics building-wide to the creation of new public areas and amenities; and more. The Empire State Building remains a ground-breaking office property in the national and global real estate market. It was the tallest LEED certified building in the United States when it was awarded the designation in 2011. Not once, but twice has this building shown the world new possibilities in the tall building world: first, with its achievement in sheer height and speed of construction, and second, with its rebirth as a sustainable building. It will continue to be a prime example of how a world-class tower can continue to maintain its iconic status in a changing world.

Global News

New York’s Empire State Building’s Upper Observation Deck to Be Overhauled
6 Feb 2018 – Plans have been revealed for a revamp of the…

Qatar Investment Authority Purchases Stake in the Empire State Building
25 Aug 2016 – Qatar has picked up a flashy piece of NYC real…

Hancock Center Considers Tilting Glass Deck Extension
9 Dec 2013 – Seeking to boost its visitor levels, Chicago’s…

Worst-Kept Secret: Observation Decks Can Generate Huge Revenues

Empire State Building Installs Green Roofs

Empire State Receives Unsolicited Bids

The Empire State is Going Public

Shutterstock Moves to Empire State

Video: Empire State of Lights

More News

News Related to Empire State Building

Empire State Building Installs Green Roofs
21 Oct 2013
A series of green roofs have been installed on one of New York's most iconic skyscrapers, The Empire State Building. The 1,250-foot (381-meter) office tower now includes…

Empire State Receives Unsolicited Bids
28 Jun 2013
One of New York City's largest landlords, Thor Equities, has offered more than $2.1 billion in cash to buy the Empire State Building, the company said on Thursday. It is…

The Empire State is Going Public
3 Jun 2013
The owners of the Empire State Building have obtained the go-ahead to take the iconic tower public. Investors of the company that owns the skyscraper have approved a plan…

Shutterstock Moves to Empire State
9 May 2013
Shutterstock Inc., the image web-marketplace, has signed an 11-year lease for a new 85,000-square foot headquarters in the Empire State Building. Shutterstock will move…

Video: Empire State of Lights
30 Nov 2012
The top of the 81-year old Empire State Building was the setting for a new light show, using an LED lighting system recently installed on its crown. The LEDs feature more…


X Information Modeling: Data-Driven Decision Making in the Design of Tall Buildings
17 Oct 2016 – James von Klemperer, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building
26 Oct 2015 – Anthony Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust

Interview: Anthony Malkin
26 Oct 2015 – Anthony Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust

More Videos

Videos Related to Empire State Building

Videos Related to Empire State Building

Browse hundreds of other videos from Council events including conferences and interviews with prominent tall building professionals in the Video Library

A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building
26 Oct 2015 – Presentation at CTBUH 2015 New York Conference; Anthony Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust
This presentation underscores the extraordinary commitment that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. has made to establish the Empire State Building as one of the most energy…

Interview: Anthony Malkin
26 Oct 2015 – 2015 New York Conference Interviews; Anthony Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust
Anthony Malkin of Empire State Realty Trust is interviewed by Chris Bentley during the 2015 CTBUH New York Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York. Anthony discusses the…

Interview: The Green Retrofit of the Empire State Building
22 Oct 2009 – 2009 Chicago Conference Interviews; Dan Probst, Jones Lang LaSalle
Dan Probst of Jones Lang LaSalle is interviewed by Jeff Herzer during the 2009 CTBUH Chicago Conference at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Dan talks about the…

Material-Saving Design Strategies for Tall Building Structures
3 Mar 2008 – Presentation at CTBUH 2008 8th World Congress, Dubai; Kyoung Sun Moon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Kyoung Sun Moon from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discussed stiffness-based design methodologies for tall building structures at the CTBUH 8th World…

Research Papers

A Landmark Sustainability Program for the Empire State Building
26 Oct 2015 – Global Interchanges: Resurgence of the Skyscraper City

Tall Buildings in Numbers: New York: The Ultimate Skyscraper Laboratory
Oct 2015 – CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue IV

Tall Buildings in Numbers: World’s Highest Observation Decks
Aug 2015 – CTBUH Journal, 2015 Issue III

More Papers

Papers Related to Empire State Building

Papers Related to Empire State Building

Browse hundreds of other papers published by CTBUH members on a range of multi-disciplinary subjects in the Research Papers Library

Tall Buildings in Numbers: Tallest World Records
Nov 2010 – CTBUH Journal, 2010 Issue IV; CTBUH Research
Includes records of the tallest buildings/structures according to function and structural material, the highest spaces according to function, and some lesser-known titles…

Greening Supertalls
Nov 2010 – Paul Rode, Johnson Controls; Harace Lin, Taipei Financial Center Corp.
The world’s tallest buildings have always been more about expression rather than necessity or a solution to any problem. Being the visible landmarks that they are, these…

Confronting the Question of Demolition or Renovation
Nov 2013 – CTBUH Journal, 2013 Issue IV; Dario Trabucco & Fava Pablo, Università IUAV di Venezia
Crumbling façades, asbestos, and outdated elevators are often cited as reasons to tear down tall buildings and create new skyscrapers. However, renovating a tall building…

Tall Buildings in Numbers: New York City Scrapers
Aug 2011 – CTBUH Journal, 2011 Issue III; Nathaniel Hollister, Jan Klerks & Antony Wood, CTBUH
New York’s dramatic skyline, over a century in the making, has for years been the envy of cities around the world. From the very birth of the tall building typology, New…

Feb 2001 – CTBUH 2001 6th World Congress, Melbourne; William F. Baker, SOM
Mankind had always lived close to the ground. During the thousands of years that preceded the birth of the skyscraper, life was limited by a reality of stairs and ladders…

Other Building Facts

Tallest building in the world 1931 - 1972. Preceded by the Chrysler Building and surpassed by One World Trade Center

On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the north side of the building between the 79th and 80th floors, killing 14 people.

Featured in dozens of films, most notably; "King Kong" in 1933 and 2005.

It took just under 15 months from January 1930 to May 1931 to construct.

To submit more information or donate images for this project, please use our submission portal.

The United States was the first country to build skyscrapers. The amazing technology used to raise buildings that seemed to touch the sky has developed and improved, and now incredible skyscrapers of all shapes and configurations are one of America’s visit cards. However, there is one iconic building which, despite it being built almost a century ago, still remains one of America’s symbols. This is the Empire State Building.

Built in 1931, this skyscraper counts 102 floors, and its height is 1454 feet. Located in Manhattan, it occupies an area of around 208,879 m². Surprisingly, considering its size, the Empire State Building was raised only in 410 days with the effort of approximately 3,400 construction workers. What is even more surprising is that the skyscraper did not cost much to build (in relative prices); including the price of land, the estimated price of the project was $40,948,000—not too much for such a gigantic building even at those times, with the cost of the building itself only being $24,718,000.

The skyscraper is built in the architectural art deco style. This style was typical for the America of the 1930s, and the Empire State Building is a classical representative of this style, with all of its geometric forms, symmetrical patterns, and vivid, contrasted colors. The materials used in construction were also typical for art deco: steel, aluminium, granite, limestone, and concrete. Perhaps the most outstanding part of the building is its antenna of an unusual shape; it performs not only a decorative function, but also protects the building, serving as a lightning rod: annually, it is struck by lightning 23 times on average. It is said that the skyscraper’s developer, John Jakob Raskob, got the idea of a future building after pulling a pencil from his drawer. He held it up to the architect, William Lamb, and asked him, “Bill, how tall can you make it so that it won’t fall down?”

The Empire State Building was made from the most up-to-date construction technologies of its day. For example, for the skyscraper’s foundation, a substantial concrete base was used, which allowed to support the enormous weight of the steel framework of the building. For a framework, prefabricated steel sections was used; they were manufactured to exact sizes (within 2mm tolerance) and could be either bolted together, or joined with rivets. In particular, the hot riveting technique was borrowed from the shipbuilding industry, where it was used to join ships’ steel plates together. In the case of the Empire State Building, a steel rivet (yet plain) was first heated up to the maximum possible temperature, and then passed through the holes of steel sections that needed to be fastened. Through heating up, construction workers made rivets soft, and after passing them through holes, they had to use a rivet gun in order to make a rivet’s plain end round, and thus seal steel girders together. The resulted construction was incredibly strong; in July 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building’s 79th floor, however it reopened in only two days.

The Empire State Building is truly a magnificent example of architectural style, engineering genius, and the spirit of the American 1930s, when the luxury of art deco bordered with the poverty of the Great Depression. Although nowadays much more advanced technologies exist, and more impressive skyscrapers can be raised, the Empire State Building remains an icon of American architecture.

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