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The Empire State Building Exhibits: Explore the Tower's Fascinating History and Design

Set in midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is not only known for being one of the world’s most famous buildings, but is also famous for its exhibits. Learn more about the history of the building and New York City as you walk through the many exhibits inside. Here’s everything you need to know about the Empire State Building exhibits.

Why Should You Visit the Empire State Building Exhibits?

Empire State Building Exhibits - Why Should You Visit
  • Learn about the building’s history: The Empire State Building is not only known for its views, but for its history and exhibits. Two entire floors in the building are dedicated to the history of the building. 
  • Meet King Kong: The Empire State Building is known for featuring in the 1933 King Kong movie. Visit the exhibits and learn about the movie, touch the hands of King Kong, experience the thrill of a timeless blockbuster, and so much more!
  • Explore the construction era: The Empire State Building is known for its marvelous construction and the building features a ‘Construction’ exhibit for visitors. See the construction of the building coming alive around you courtesy the photographers of Lewis Hine. 
  • Discover interactive exhibits: Be a part of the making of a world-class building as you ride up a virtual elevator and experience what it was like to be a construction worker for the building.

Where are the Empire State Building Exhibits?

The Empire State Building exhibits are on the 2nd and 80th floors of the building. The floor is dedicated to the exhibits, which portray the incredible journey of this world-renowned landmark. Go through the photographs, architectural renderings, blueprints, journals, and construction notes to watch how this iconic architectural masterpiece came to be!

Empire State Building Exhibits

Empire State Building Exhibits - The Site in the 1920s

The Site in the 1920s

The “Site in the 1920s” exhibit takes you back to the Empire State Building in the 1920s. Go through the pictures and take a look at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which existed where the ESB stands today. Explore what NYC looked like back then!

Empire State Building Exhibits - Construction Exhibit

Construction Exhibit

Visit the Construction Exhibit to see how the Empire State Building made its way of coming to life. Photographer Lewis Hine made this possible with his photographs of the construction stage. Watch as the sound and life-size video screens on the four walls and ceilings. Look at the different stages of construction, life-like bronze sculptures of construction workers, and so much more.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Opening Day

Opening Day

Live the experience of the Opening Day of the Empire State Building in 1930. Be a part of all the enthusiasm of the opening day with animated videos that will take you back to the 1930s. Listen to the newspaper boy screaming about the opening day news with cheer and awe. 

Empire State Building Exhibits - Modern Marvel

Modern Marvel

​​​​​​The Modern Marvel exhibit features what measures were taken to make the Empire State Building a leader in a world of sustainability and energy efficiency. The Modern Marvel exhibit is also known as the Sustainability Exhibit. This step was taken in 2009 to use state-of-the-art technology to reduce energy usage and carbon emissions.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Otis Elevators

Otis Elevators

Otis Elevators are famous for being one of the most significant contributions to the construction of the building. The elevators exhibit features the latest technology used in building elevators. A fun fact is that the Otis Elevator carries almost 10 million guests up and down daily.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Urban Campus

Urban Campus

Get a glimpse of the major tenant spaces, amenities, and significant companies that have an office in the building at the Urban Campus. Spot the building's hidden views as you look at the people working there.

Empire State Building Exhibits - World’s Most Famous Building

World’s Most Famous Building

Witness the unique experience as you see the importance of the Empire State Building in modern pop culture. Watch the exhibit on a large 72-screen with a 180-degree view with 600 clips from across popular culture, media, films, TV shows, comics, and games.

Empire State Building Exhibits - King Kong

King Kong

Go through the most popular exhibit of ESB to experience the thrill of King Kong! One of the most famous facts about the Empire State Building was its debut in the 1933 King Kong film. Visit the legendary King Kong at the exhibit and touch Kong’s hands breaking through the walls!

Empire State Building Exhibits - Celebrities

Celebrities

The Empire State Building is a go-to place for every celeb and well-known personality from around the globe. Many celebrities have visited this sky-touching building and this exhibit has memorialized their visits. Look at pictures, souvenirs, and autographs adorning the walls to commemorate the visits of famous athletes, musicians, and actors. From Tylor Swift to BTS, you’ll find everyone here!

Empire State Building Exhibits - NYC: Above & Beyond

NYC: Above & Beyond

The NYC: Above and Beyond exhibits were created in partnership with NYC & Company. This exhibit is a fun one as it helps you create a personalized trip itinerary for the Empire State Building. You can also find out about all the best sites and attractions in NYC through this interactive exhibit.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Artistry in Light

Artistry in Light

Do you ever wonder how the musical light shows are created at the Empire State Building? If yes, then the Artistry in Light exhibit is for you! Learn about the light & sound show through a short film by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman - a master of light creation.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing

Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing

Did you know that the world-famous artist Stephen Wiltshire resided on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building? The artist resided in the building when he drew a landscape drawing of New York City. He took the 45-minute helicopter ride above Manhattan before creating his magic completely from memory. Take a view of a 3-minute short film that shows the making of this marvelous drawing of New York City.

Empire State Building Exhibits - Scenes of NYC

Scenes of NYC

Take a look at breathtaking views of New York City through classic viewfinders at this unique exhibit. Move your viewfinder in different directions to get a good look at the best locations in the city! Witness and enjoy mesmerizing views of the 9 most famous attractions in NYC.

How Do I Visit the Empire State Building Exhibits?

Empire State Building Exhibits - How Do I Visit



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Frequently Asked Questions About the Empire State Building Exhibits

Does the Empire State Building have any exhibits on display?

Yes. The Empire State Building has multiple exhibits on display that show the history and construction of the building.

How many exhibits does the Empire State Building have?

There are many exhibits spread across the 2nd and 80th floors of the Empire State Building.

Can I visit the Empire State Building exhibits?

Yes. Visitors can explore the Empire State Building exhibits by purchasing tickets to the attraction.

How much is a ticket to visit the Empire State Building exhibits?

Your Empire State Building tickets start from $44.

What can I see at the Empire State Building exhibits?

You can go through the site in the 1920s, explore the construction of the ESB, look at the events that took place on the opening day, and discover its role in the King Kong film.

What kind of exhibits are inside the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building exhibits cover everything from the construction of the building, its opening day, celebrity visits, sustainability efforts, and so much more!

What are some must-see Empire State Building exhibits?

The Site in the 1920s, Construction Exhibit, Opening Day, Modern Marvel, Otis Elevators, King Kong, and Stephen Wiltshire’s Drawing are some must-see Empire State Building exhibits.

Is visiting the Empire State Building exhibits worth it?

Yes, the Empire State Building building is known as the world's most famous building and features a range of exhibits to tell the 100-year story of this iconic landmark.

Are the Empire State Building exhibits crowded?

Being a famous landmark of NYC, the Empire State Building exhibits see millions of visitors daily. Plan your visit on a weekday morning to avoid crowds.

What is the best time to visit the Empire State Building exhibits?

Weekdays during the morning hours are the best time to visit the Empire State Building exhibits and observatories

What floors are the Empire State Building exhibits on?

The Empire State Building exhibits are located on the 2nd and 80th floor of the building.

What are the opening hours of the Empire State Building exhibits?

The Empire State Building exhibits are accessible during the opening hours of the building. Timings vary daily.