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Discover the Spectacular Art Deco Lobby of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building's Art Deco lobby is a stellar example of the architectural style and is considered one of the most iconic and beautiful lobbies in the world. Stay on this page to find out more about this architectural masterpiece!

Why You Should Visit the Art Deco Lobby?

Historical Significance - Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby
  • Historical Significance: The Art Deco lobby forms a significant part of the Empire State Building’s history. The recreation of the lobby gives visitors a glimpse into the original design and style of the building dating back to the early 20th century. 
  • Architecture and Design: Featuring intricate details, stunning murals, and state-of-the-art elevators, the Art Deco lobby is a masterpiece of modern architecture and design. 
  • Photography Opportunities: If you’re a photography enthusiast, the Art Deco lobby is the perfect spot to capture stunning pictures. With beautiful murals, the gold ceiling, intricate designs, and the grand entrance, you can capture photos with perfect backgrounds.
  • Easy Access: The Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building is accessible to the public without a ticket. Take a stroll through this magnificent work of architecture without worrying about waiting in line or booking tickets.



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What is Art Deco?

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Characterized by the use of geometric shapes and bold colors, the Art Deco style of art and design originated in France between the 1920s and 1930s.

The use of the Art Deco style became especially popular in the field of architecture and interior design. Many buildings were constructed using the Art Deco style of design to portray a sense of elegance, luxury, and glamor. This included the creation of sleek shapes, intricate decorations, and the use of materials like chrome glass and polished stone.

Although the use of the Art Deco style was on a decline after the first half of the 20th century, its influence can still be seen in contemporary designs even today.

Who Designed the Art Deco Lobby?

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

The Art Deco lobby inside the Empire State Building was designed by Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon, the same firm who designed the entire building. The aim was to incorporate and revive many of the original designs into the renovated lobby.

This included the creation of a grand entrance with a gold vaulted ceiling, a marble floor, and intricate decorative designs made of bronze and aluminum. A range of beautiful murals created by artist Leif Neandross adorn the walls of the lobby, depicting images of early New York City.

The Art Deco Lobby Restoration Project

In 2009, the Empire State Building Art Deco lobby underwent major renovations which were completed the following year. This project was aimed at restoring the lobby to how it looked when the building first opened in 1931.

The intricate decorations, the bronze and aluminum details, the marble floor, and the murals were all redesigned as part of the restoration project. In addition to this, the lobby's elevators were carefully refurbished to retain the original design and operate smoothly.

Carried out by a team of experts, the Art Deco Lobby Restoration Project cost about $20 million, resulting in a state-of-the-art space, resembling the original Empire State Building lobby.

The Art Deco Lobby Highlights

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Grand Entrance

One of the most impressive features of the Art Deco lobby is its grand entrance. Located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, the entrance is noticeable by a striking marquee with the words "Empire State Building" embedded in bold letters. Adorned with sleek geometric lines and Art Deco motifs like stylized eagles and sunbursts, the entrance sets the tone for everything inside the building.

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby - Golden Ceiling

Golden Ceiling

The golden ceiling of the Art Deco lobby inside the Empire State Building is another stunning feature of the space. Originally installed in 1930 during the construction of the building, the ceiling is entirely made of brass and decorated with concentric circles and sunbursts. To give the ceiling its golden hue, the brass underwent a process called ‘Dutch metal.’

Marble Floors - Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Marble Floors

The floor of the Art Deco lobby is made of two types of marble - the lower level is made of red marble from Tennessee, while the upper level is made of gray marble from Italy. Inspired by the Art Deco style, the marble is cut and laid in geometric shapes and patterns, creating a dynamic sense of movement. The marble floors were also part of the major restoration project that took place in 2009.

The Mural - Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

The Mural

Adorning the back wall of the lobby, the stunning mural of the Art Deco lobby was the work of artist and illustrator, Hildreth Meière. It is made of 23-karat gold leaf and glazed tiles and is considered one of her finest works. The mural depicts a version of the constellations with golden stars and shiny tiles set against a blue background. The geometric shapes, golden hues, and dynamic placements, make this mural a masterpiece of the Art Deco style. 

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Bronze & Aluminum Decorations

The bronze and aluminum decorations of the Art Deco lobby are an intricate part of the space. These decorations were carefully designed to create a sense of dynamism and include a series of geometric patterns and motifs with stylized eagles, sunbursts, and zig-zags. In order to give the decorations an aged and antique look, the bronze was treated with a patina, while the aluminum was left with its natural metallic shimmer.

Lighting  - Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Lighting

The lighting inside the Art Deco lobby is a carefully considered aspect of the space. To portray the powerful symbol of the Empire State Building, the lighting was placed in a way that creates a sense of glamor and grandeur. Many of these fixtures were custom made for the lobby and given a coat of golden hue to match the other aspects of the lobby. The placement of the lighting directly compliments the golden ceiling, the marble floors, and the bronze and aluminum decorations.

How Do I Visit the Empire State Building's Art Deco Lobby?

Empire State Building Art Deco Lobby

Aside from its iconic observation decks, the Empire State Building Art Deco lobby is a must-visit! To get to the lobby, enter through the grand entrance on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.

Marvel at the original gold ceiling, the bronze and aluminum decorations, the stunning murals, and the intricate Art Deco patterns and designs inside the lobby. The best part is that you don't need a ticket to enter the lobby!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Empire State Building's Art Deco Lobby

Do I need a ticket to visit the Empire State Building's Art Deco lobby?

No, you don't need a ticket to enter the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building. You will however, require tickets to visit the observation decks.

Can I visit the Empire State Building's Art Deco lobby?

Yes, visitors can access the Art Deco lobby when entering the Empire State Building's observation deck.

What is the Art Deco style?

Art Deco is a style of art and design that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It is characterized by bold geometric shapes, bright colors, and a sense of luxury and glamor.

When was the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building built?

The original Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building was built in 1931 and restored in 2009.

Who designed the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building?

The Art Deco lobby was designed by an architectural firm run by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.

What materials were used in creating the Art Deco lobby?

The creation of the Art Deco lobby included the use of a range of materials, including marble, bronze, aluminum, and a 23-karat gold leaf.

How high is the Art Deco lobby ceiling?

The golden ceiling of the lobby is approximately 50 feet high.

What is the significance of the golden ceiling in the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building?

The golden ceiling in the Art Deco lobby depicts the sky and the constellations.

Who created the mural in the Art Deco lobby?

The mural on the back wall of the Art Deco lobby was created by artist and illustrator, Hildreth Meière.

What do the decorations in the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building represent?

The decorations in the lobby represent various Art Deco motifs using geometric shapes and bold colors.

How long did it take to restore the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building?

The Art Deco Lobby Restoration Project took about 2 years to complete.

What was the cost of the restoration of the Empire State Building's Art Deco lobby?

The restoration of the lobby cost approximately $20 million.

Is the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building open to the public?

Yes, the lobby is open to the public during the building’s opening hours.

How many visitors pass through the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building each year?

Over 4 million visitors pass through the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building each year.

Is the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building listed as a historic landmark?

Yes, the Art Deco lobby of the Empire State Building is listed as a historic landmark and is considered an important example of the Art Deco style.