Empire State Building. Skyscraper in New York City, New York

Empire State Building

Skyscraper in New York City, New York

The Empire State Building (center) Photo © Alain Ferraro

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Empire State Building

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 - Empire State Building
Empire State Building.
The iconic Empire State Building is a skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It is located on the corner of West 34th Street and Fifth Avenue. The tower's name comes from the nickname of the state of New York, which is The Empire State.

The Empire State Building is a true icon of New York and of the United States in general. The American Society of Civil Engineer has named it as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The skyscraper has played a role in many a Hollywood movie, the most notable of which was the 1933 movie King Kong.


In 1928, the first Waldorf Astoria Hotel was sold for an estimated $20 million. This site is now the Empire State Building. In 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was built, American architects raced to build something taller. At the beginning of the the 20th century there was a real skyscraper epidemic in the United States. On March 17, 1930, the construction of the Empire State Building began. The framework rose four and a half stories per week an it took one year and 45 days to complete the entire building. More than seven million man-hours were registered, which is the fastest construction of its kind given the project of its scale.

 - Empire State
Empire State Building. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa

President Hoover officially opened the building on May 1, 1931.

The Empire State Building now is a world-famous art-deco structure and offers fabulous panoramic views of New York City from 8 AM to 2 AM. There are around four million tourists that visit annually. The building consists of two main public floors – 86th and the 102nd observation decks. The building soars at a height of 381 meter (443 meter including the antenna).

The Empire State Building reigned as the world’s tallest building from its completion in 1931 to 1970. However, in 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City after the collapse of the World Trade Center (Wikipedia Article).

It was not until 1981 that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declared the Empire State Building a landmark.

The Empire State Building has been featured in many movies and TV shows, its first appearance was on March 2, 1933 in the movie King Kong. It has since been used for numerous scenes in the likes of Gossip Girl, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle.


The Empire State Building is located on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets in Manhattan. The building lies within walking distance from many attractions in the city. Penn Station is the closest subway, and from there it is a 10-minute walk to the Fifth Ave entrance.

When to Visit

 - Empire State
The view from the observation deck.. Photo by star_avi8r

The Empire State Building offers spectacular daytime and nighttime views of New York City. Each visit to the Empire State Building will be different, depending on the time of day, season and time of arrival.
  • Morning: If you arrive at the Empire State Building at 8 AM, you will most likely beat the crowds and start your day of sightseeing in a spectacular manner.
  • Afternoon: The view during the day offers a clear sky, which is great for photo opportunities.
  • Night: New York City is a city of lights, and the view from the Empire State Building is no disappointment, as you will be shown an illuminated skyline. This time slot is usually most favorable, and may lead to long wait times. Please note: the last elevator up is at 1:15 AM.

  • It is suggested that you allow a minimum of one hour for your visit, not including the queues.


    Tickets for the Empire State Building vary depending on which observatory you wish to visit. Children under six years of age go free.

    1. Main Deck Only (86th Floor)
    Senior (62+)$26
    Child (ages 6-12)$23

    2. Main Deck Express (86th Floor – No Waiting)
    All visitors (ages 6+)$50

    3. Main Deck + Top Deck (86th & 102nd Floor)
    Senior (62+)$43
    Child (ages 6-12)$40

    4. Main Deck + Top Deck Express (86th & 102nd Floor – No Waiting)
    All visitors (ages 6+)$67

    Nearby/Similar Attractions

    Rockefeller Center

    When the line for the Empire State Building is long, the Rockefeller Center is a great alternative to view New York City from above. Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, it is a complex of nineteen commercial buildings. The Rockefeller Center also has an observation deck, which is located on the 70th floor. This is known as Top of the Rock. The Top of the Rock has three viewing decks and a fantastic unobstructed 360º view of New York City.

    Open daily from 8 AM - 12 AM (last elevator goes up at 11 PM).

    The main entrance is located on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.

    Entrance Fees
    Senior (62+)$27.00
    Child (ages 6-12)$18.00
    Sun & Stars $42.00
    Sun & Stars Child$24.00

    Sun & Stars ticket allows for two visits on the one day (morning and night)

    One World Trade Center

    The new World Trade Center is located next to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and is a staggering 417 meter (541 meter including the antenna) tall.

    The One World Trade Center is currently the tallest building in New York City, and the third-largest structure in the world.

    The center will host an observation deck, which is said to be the best in New York City, but will not open until 2015.

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    Author: brookevulinovic. Last updated: Aug 04, 2014

    Pictures of Empire State Building

    South of the Rock - Empire State Building
    South of the Rock - Empire State Building. Photo by John St John


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