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The Empire State Building
350 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10118
Voice: 212-736-3100

The Empire State Building is cemented in both New York and U.S. History. Built during the Depression, the building was the center of a competition between Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (creator of General Motors) to see who could build the tallest building.

From the time the construction began on March 17, 1930, the building's steel frame rose at an average rate of four and a half floors per week. To speed construction, the building's posts, beams, windows and window frames were made in factories and put together on the site. 60,000 tons of steel was brought in from the steel mills in Pennsylvania, 310 miles away, by train, barges and trucks.

William Lamb was chosen to design the Empire State Building. He happened to base most of his design on a simple pencil. The clean, soaring lines inspired him, and he modeled the building after it. He also decided that the columns of stone would be easier to put up if they were separated from the windows with metal strips. The strips covered the stone's edges, which meant the stone could be rough-cut at the quarry and then heaved into place without any final cutting or fitting, thus saving a great amount of time. The stonework began in June of 1930, and was completed in November. The windows were attached with metal brackets between the stone columns, with aluminum panels above and below each level.

By October 3, 1930, there were 88 floors finished and only 14 to go. These top floors took the form of a distinctive tower of glass, steel, and aluminum. The tower is about 200 ft. high and topped with a dome.

On May 1st, 1931, President Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C. officially opening and turning on the Empire State Building's lights.



Pictures and information were provided by the Empire State Building

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