Empire State Building
During the boom of New York’s economy in the late 1920s, American builders started desiring to build the world’s largest skyscraper. Two of these builders are General Motors executive John J. Raskob and former New York Governor Al Smith who are responsible for constructing the Art Deco skyscraper Empire State Building. Modeled after two earlier Art Deco buildings—Winston-Salem Building in North Carolina and Carew Tower in Cincinnati—it took just one year and forty-five days to finish the Empire State Building. As many as 3,400 men were used each day to assemble the structure’s skeleton. Its upper tower was also originally modeled as a mooring mast for airships.
The building stands 103 stories tall and is located on Fifth Avenue—between 33rd and 34th Streets of Manhattan. There are observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors, attracting around four million visitors each year. It is also widely known as the tallest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building in the US.
During Valentine’s Day, couples who decide to marry on its 80th floor immediately become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club. They are entitled to receive free admission to the observatory on February 14 each year (also their anniversary date). The building is also featured in movies like “Sleepless in Seattle,” “King Kong,” and “The Amazing Spider-man.”
You should not miss the landmarked Art Deco lobby with ceiling murals and striking design details. Also, for an additional fee, you could go to the 102nd floor. If you look closely at the view once you’re there, you can actually see the curvature of the Earth.