Thursday, 5 April 2007

Skyscrapers-Empire State Building

Ahhh, the beautiful Empire State Building. The ESB is the quintessential skyscraper; the American Society of Civil Engineers has called it "one of the seven wonders of the modern world". And it's no surprise.

The ESB was completed in the record time of just over 1 year starting from March 17, 1930 and endind on May 1, 1931, during the Great Depression. It was officially opened with a push of a button from Herbert Hoover, turning on the lights.
The ESB is 381 metres tall from the ground to the roof, and 449 metres tall if you include the antenna. It has 101 storeys, and an observation deck on the 86th floor. The tower features 254,000 square metres of floor space. As the ESB was built during the Depression, much of this went unoccupied. The ESB was the World's Tallest Building until the World Trade Centre came along in the 1970's. However, after the collapse of the WTC, the ESB was once again reigning king in New York's skyline.
Just before WWII ended, a plane accidentally flew into the ESB on July 28, 1945. The plane, a B-25 Mitchell Bomber crashed between the 79th and 80th floors.
The ESB has 73 elevators and 6500 windows. The structure has also been in countless movies and TV series, the latest of which has been NZ Director Peter Jackson's re-do of King Kong.

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