NEW YORK – The Empire State Building (ESB), the world’s most famous office building, will celebrate its 80th anniversary on Sunday, May 1, 2011. Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, ESB has served as one of the most recognizable and beloved attractions. The building has accomplished many milestones over the last 80 years, and today it stands tall as a 21st Century icon.
Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company, stated, “On this significant anniversary, the Empire State Building celebrates 80 years of being an international symbol of innovation and ingenuity.” He added, “Through an award-winning renovations and modernization project, the world’s most famous office building offers unmatched experiences for both its tenants and the millions who visit the Observatories each year.”
The Empire State Building: Through the Years
January 2011: ESB became New York City’s largest commercial purchaser of 100% renewable energy.
December 2010: Launched a newly designed www.esbnyc.com to provide global, instant digital access, as well as new social media channels with the creation of ESB Facebook and Twitter pages.
July 2010: An interactive, multi-media Sustainability Exhibit was unveiled at the 2nd floor Visitor’s Center to educate visitors about ESB’s energy-efficiency program.
April 2009: Alongside President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ESB announced details of a groundbreaking retrofit aimed at reducing the building’s carbon emissions by more than 38 percent while creating a replicable process for retrofitting existing commercial structures worldwide. It will save an estimated $4.4 million on energy costs per year. www.esbsustainability.com.
2009: Completed a more than $550 million “Empire State ReBuilding” program to renovate, reinvent and modernize the iconic landmark by restoring its 1931 Art Deco grandeur and adding state-of-the-art enhancements to improve the tenant and visitor experiences.
February 1994: The first Valentine’s Day wedding event was held. To date, over 230 couples have been officially married at ESB as part of this annual program.
May 1981: The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declared ESB a landmark.
February 1978: The first ESB Run-Up took place. At this annual event, hundreds of athletes from around the world race a total of 1,576 steps to the 86th Floor Observatory.
1966: The manually operated high-speed elevators on the first 80 floors of the building were replaced with automatic elevators.
June 1951: WNBT became the first media outlet to begin regular broadcasts from the new transmitting tower atop ESB.
May 1, 1931: President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C. to officially open ESB.
March 1930: Construction of the building began. Framework rose at a rate of 4 ½ stories per week and was completed in an astounding 410 days.
From the feat of its engineering, to the innumerable references in pop culture, beloved tower lights and countless celebrity visitors, the building has a multitude of interesting facts from 1931 onwards.
ESB took only one year and 45 days to build or 7 million man-hours, a record to this day for a skyscraper of its height.
ESB is the tallest building in New York at exactly 1,454 feet, 8 9/166 inches (443.2 meters) to the top of its lightening rod/antenna.
The exterior of the Empire State Building is composed of 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, 10,000,000 bricks and 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel.
The building is the center of New York City’s broadcasting operations; the skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market.
On the clearest of days, visibility from the Observatory is 80 miles, with five states in view: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
ESB has been featured in some of the most famous movies, including “King Kong,” “An Affair to Remember,” “Sleepless in Seattle” and “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”
ESB is one of the most celebrity-visited landmarks in the world, attracting the likes of Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, Justin Bieber, Roger Federer, Lauren Bacall, Rihanna, the cast of “Glee,” Penelope Cruz, Celine Dion, Mario Batali and the Victoria’s Secret Angels, to name just a few.
ESB is home to marquee, international tenants, including Skanska; Coty, Inc.; the FDIC; and Li & Fung.
To connect with the global ESB community, in 2010 the building launched a newly designed website, www.esbnyc.com, as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/EmpireStateBuilding) and Twitter pages (@ESBObservatory).
The Empire State Building Observatories are open 365 days per year from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. For more information about the iconic landmark, please visit www.esbnyc.com.
About the Empire State Building
Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions and is the region’s #1 tourist destination.