The Empire State Building is the most famous high-rise building in the world. Even 40 years ago, structures above this skyscraper simply did not exist. Even now, having lost its primacy in scale among the world’s high-rises, the building personifies the splendor and glory of New York.
The famous skyscraper has 102 floors and was built in 1931. Here are 7 interesting facts about this unique building that you most likely did not know.
The average visitor has access to only sites on the 86th and 102nd floors, and for an additional fee. Even a few New Yorkers are aware of the secret door on the 102nd floor that leads even higher. Moses Gates, in his book Hidden Cities, shares his impressions of his stay on the 103rd floor of the famous building. The writer was struck not even by the view from the observation deck, but by 16 memorial signs installed there in honor of the War of Independence.
A common misconception that airships landed on top of a skyscraper is caused by a photograph that has flown around the world in which an aircraft is circling over the roof of the Empire. However, this shooting was made exclusively for history and has nothing to do with reality. Docking airships on the roof of a skyscraper is impossible due to strong winds at such a height.
For the first time, the lighthouse on the roof of a skyscraper lit up in 1932 in honor of the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the post of President of the United States. Interestingly, during the migration of birds, the lights on the building are turned off after midnight. This is done so that the flocks, blinded by the brilliance of the lights, do not die, crashing into the building.
Indeed, it was those who wanted to commit suicide that added even more fame to this building. The first suicide was a construction worker on the Empire, who jumped from a skyscraper the day he was fired. Already in 1947, a high fence was erected around the perimeter of the observation deck, since already in the first three weeks of operation, 5 suicide attempts were recorded.
Evelyn McHale in 1947 was the infamous suicide who jumped from the observation deck of a skyscraper. By a tragic accident as a result of the fall, she landed on a UN Assembly vehicle, as a result of which the whole world saw a photo of her lifeless body. As it later became known, the deceased young woman was engaged, she left a suicide note with the words that she would not become a good wife to anyone.
The suicide attempt by Elvita Adams in 1979 also gained fame. The woman jumped down from the platform on the 86th floor, but by a happy coincidence, a gust of wind threw her back to the building, as a result of which the American fell on the cornice of the 85th floor, survived and received only a fractured hip. During the entire existence of the building, despite all the measures taken, about 30 suicides were committed here.
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The morning that day turned out to be foggy and the pilot, while driving the bomber at an altitude lower than usual, made a collision with a skyscraper. As a result, the plane punched a hole in the building and exploded, killing 14 people. About $ 1 million was subsequently spent on the renovation of the building.
Every year, sports races are organized on the stairs leading to the 86th floor, in which anyone can take part. Volunteers actually have to climb more than 1,500 steps.
In such an unusual competition, his own record was set, which so far no one has been able to beat: in 2003, Paul Craik completely climbed the stairs in 9 minutes and 33 seconds. It is worth noting that Craik is a professional Australian athlete.
It is known that due to the construction of two skyscrapers of the World Trade Center, the Empire (381 meters) has ceased to be considered the tallest building in the city. However, after the terrorist attack and the collapse of the Twin Towers, the skyscraper received its title back.
True, only until 2012, and then the newly rebuilt WTC-1 building rose even higher, now to a height of 541 meters, eclipsing the sun. In addition, the Empire State is now ahead of another building – 432 Park Avenue (425 meters), and the newest skyscraper 1 Vanderbilt (397 meters), which is under construction. Since its construction in 1931, the Empire State Building has held various records in the “First” and “Tallest” categories. This journey of pride began with the title of the first building in the world to surpass 100 floors. It also held the record of the tallest skyscraper in the world in terms of structural height for the longest period (1931-1970).
Until 1954, it was the largest man-made structure in the world. It was also the tallest free-standing man-made structure in the world until 1967. After the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, it once again became the tallest building in New York. It is also recognized as the tallest building certified “Leadership in Energy & Environment Design” in the Northern Hemisphere.
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