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Everything You Need to Know About the Empire State Building in New York City

The Empire State Building, located in New York City, is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper. Known for its distinctive spire, it was the world’s tallest building until 1970. Inside, there are 2 observatories, world-class dining experiences, shopping,...

Founded On

1931

New YorkEmpire State BuildingEmpire State Building

Quick information

RECOMMENDED DURATION

2 hours

VISITORS PER YEAR

4000000

EXPECTED WAIT TIME - STANDARD

1-2 hours (Peak), 30-60 mins (Off Peak)

EXPECTED WAIT TIME - SKIP THE LINE

0-30 mins (Peak), 0-30 mins (Off Peak)

Plan your visit

Did you know?

The Empire State Building has its zip code, 10118, covering the entire building and its 1,860,000 square feet of office space.

The building is so tall that lightning strikes it around 23 times annually! It's equipped with a lightning rod system to protect it.

At the top of the Empire State Building is a secret speakeasy-style bar called the "Cloud Club," -- a popular hangout for celebrities in the 1930s.

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Why Visit the Empire State Building in New York?

About Empire State Building New York City - why visit

History of the Empire State Building

With the aim to be the world’s very first 100+ story building, the construction of the iconic Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. The construction of the building was completed in 1 year and 45 days. On May 1, 1931, President Herbert Hoover inaugurated the Empire State Building by pressing a button from the White House that turned on the building’s lights.

The idea of the Empire State Building came into being as a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, who competed to see who would build the taller building. Chrysler has begun work on the famous Chrysler Building. Meanwhile, Raskob had assembled a group of investors, who had chosen the architecture firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates to design the building.

The frame of the building grew four-and-a-half stories per week. During its completion, the Empire State Building began the world’s tallest skyscraper with 102 stories and 1,250 feet high.

In 1946, 15 years after its opening, the Empire State Building became the headquarters of a major organization with more than 15,000 employees. This made it the world’s most profitable building and the most recognizable and beloved piece of architecture.

Who Built the Empire State Building?

The duo behind the construction of the Empire State Building was John J. Raskob and Al Smith. The general contractor involved was Starrett Brother & Eken, the recognized leader in the construction of the skyscraper.

Architecture of the Empire State Building

With a soaring height and great design, the Empire State Building defines the New York City skyline. It has the world’s most beautiful Art Deco design that has inspired a lot of its visitors around the world and is a living piece of New York’s history and a symbol of the city’s culture.

During sunset, the 200-foot crowning spire illuminates with tower lights that dazzle with numerous combos of colors. A lot of the building’s key design elements, right from its lighting to glasswork to the marble interiors had weathered. Many of these defining pieces were in danger of being missing.

Currently, more than 12,000 feet of historic glassware is recreated with great attention to detail by historians and artisans. The damaged marble is removed and replaced with new stone. Standing at 102 stories height, the Empire State Building was the tallest for nearly 40 years after its completion. Today, it continues to be the world’s great tower and an architectural wonder.

Efforts are in place for a more sustainable Empire State Building with new energy-efficient technology put in place with zero compromises in its beauty and design ensuring the structure continues to be a global icon for generations.

Things to Do Inside the Empire State Building in New York

About Empire State Building New York City - Main Deck 86th Floor Observatory
About Empire State Building New York City - Top Deck 102nd Floor Observatory

Top Deck 102nd Floor Observatory

Situated on the highest floor of the Empire State Building and completely refurbished in 2019, the 102nd floor features floor-to-ceiling glass windows and offers a spectacular view over the city stretching up to 80 miles on a clear day. Get set to take your New York City experience a notch higher.

About Empire State Building New York City - Exhibits on the 2nd & 80th Floors
About Empire State Building New York City - Restaurants
About Empire State Building New York City - gift shop

Frequently Asked Questions About the Empire State Building, New York City

What is the Empire State Building?

Designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

Where is the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building is situated on the west side of 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, right in between 33rd Street to the south and 34th Street to the north.

What is the Empire State Building famous for?

The Empire State Building is a famous architectural marvel that is beloved across the world and is known for being the world’s first 100+ story skyscraper.

Why should I visit the Empire State Building?

More than 4 million people visit the iconic Empire State Building because it is celebrated as an international symbol of determination, hope, and endless possibilities. It is an authentic New York City experience that one must have.

How do I book tickets to visit the Empire State Building in New York City?

You can book your Empire State Building tickets online and enjoy great deals and discounts.

How much does it cost to visit the Empire State Building?

The cost of visiting the Empire State Building depends on the experience you want; ticket prices start from $44.

Who built the Empire State Building in New York City?

Architects Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates and builders Starrett Brothers, and Eken were responsible for constructing the Empire State Building.

When did the Empire State Building open?

The Empire State Building in New York City officially opened on May 1, 1931.

What’s inside the Empire State Building?

A lot of the floors present within the Empire State Building are used as offices. The second and 80th floor comprises exhibits, while the observatories are situated on the 86th and 102nd floor. The lobby area is designed in Art Deco style and can be accessed by the public.

How many floors does the Empire State Building have?

The Empire State Building consists of 102 floors, with 1860 steps from the street level all the way to the top.

What are the Empire State Building’s opening hours?

The Empire State Building is open daily from 9 AM to 11 PM. Timings vary depending on the time of the year.

Why is the Empire State Building in New York City important?

The Empire State Building is an iconic symbol of New York City and is an embodiment of the country’s rise to global financial power in the 20th century.

Is it worth visiting the Empire State Building in New York City?

Yes, the Empire State Building is one of the most iconic structures in the world and is a must-see when you visit New York City. It can be admired from the outside, but if you want the best experience, get inside and enjoy spectacular views from the upper levels.

Does the Empire State Building have any restaurants?

Yes, the STATE Grill and Bar is one of the top dining restaurants in Midtown Manhattan and is located inside the Empire State Building. To take a look at all your dining options at the Empire State Building, click here.

Is there a gift shop at the Empire State Building?

Yes, the 2nd floor of the Empire State Building has a gift shop that offers a fantastic range of souvenirs & memorabilia.