The Empire State Building is one of those skyscapers that draws everyone’s eyes towards the sky, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. While some great buildings blend in with the masses of cement and glass that populate Manhattan, this one stands alone, and tall, as a symbol of America’s limitless potential. Whether it’s your first time, or one of many vacations to New York City, a visit to The Empire State Building is always merited.
The Empire State Building is a product of the skyscraper race that was prompted by the heights of the Eiffel Tower (built in 1889). The completion of the 984-foot masterpiece enticed American architects to create something taller. And of course, because the race for the best was the continual concept of the early 1900s, the skyscraper race was on, and boy, was it racing.
By 1909, New York City had its first behemoth building, The Metropolitan Life Tower. At 700 feet, it was a thing of beauty—but still a few grades behind her French cousin, Eiffel. And the United States noticed this, and keeping with the Fitzgeraldesque sentiments that there is nothing more obnoxious than someone else’s good luck, kept building. They created the Woolworth Building in 1913 (792 feet) and the Bank of Manhattan Building (927 feet) in 1929. And there, in 1929, 40 years after Eiffel made her first appearance, the concept for Empire State Building was created. It went head-to-head (or spire to spire) with the Chrysler Building for three years during construction, as the two battled for the prize of being the tallest. From 1931 until 1971, The Empire State Building stood champion of the tallest buildings, reaching a height of 1,454 feet.
The landmark has seen over $550 million in renovation projects, as measures have been made to restore the building to its 1930s grandeur. The lobby has been recrafted to emulate its original Art Deco design. The building’s lights, elevators, marble, chandeliers and murals have been restored. And modern technology has helped to make the building more energy efficient and sustainable.
Today the Empire State Building remains one of the tallest buildings in America. Tourists and locals still flock to its two observation decks today, taking in the views from the 86th and 102nd floors.
The 86th floor observatory area is open during the day and night, perfect for all types of visitors. Bring families during the day and bring your date during the evening. The Empire State Building Observatory is open until 2 a.m. every night, providing stunning and romantic views of the city lights after dark. While you may think you’ve seen it all traveling through the city in various ways, you haven’t seen everything until you’ve seen the city from 1,050 feet.
Every Thursday through Saturday, the Empire State Building hosts “The Empire State Building After Dark”. After dinner in the city, have some drinks on Fifth Avenue then head to the 86th floor observatory to be swooned by a live jazz saxophonist who plays from 10p.m. until 1a.m. There is room for a little dancing, and space to look over the city and enjoy the music. The musician may take requests, so if you’re in the mood for something special, see if he’ll play it for you. It’s an incredibly romantic trip to take for two, and a truly special way to experience the city during your vacation.
Whichever way you choose to experience the Empire State Building during your vacation to New York City, you’re sure to be stunned by its beauty and views.