Saturday, 20 October 2012

Symbols: Empire State Building-New York City

The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings and one of the symbols of New York City.  
It’s located in Midtown Manhattan, at the intersection between the 5th Av. and west 34th street. It was one of the first buildings I saw when I arrived in New York City and I was amazed of its high, its architectural design and mostly of its views from the observatories.
It was designed and constructed between 1929 and 1931, during the Art Deco Period of design. But the architect, William F. Lamb from Shrebe, Lamb and Harmon wanted to design a building that would stand out, so he decided to design the building with four facades facing the street rather than one façade that buildings usually have. It is possible to see the building and always the façade of the Empire State from mostly all the different points of the City.
The building and its architectural design can be observed from other observatories of the city, as the ‘Top of the Rock’ located in the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Plaza. There is where the picture was taken and The Empire State Building appears behind me.

In 1945, the structural integrity of the building was tested when a twin-engine B-25 bomber crashed into the 79th floor. Fourteen people were tragically killed, but the building remained standing.
It was constructed where the first Waldorf Astoria Hotel was situated. It was not well communicated in that time with public transportation, and just the 25% of the offices were rented when the building was inaugurated; for that reason it was referred as the ‘Empty State Building’. They started to earn more money with the observatories than with the rents. There are two observatories, in the 86th and 102th floors and you can take one of the seven elevators or if you prefer, you can climb the 1860 stairs to arrive to the platforms. The entrance prices for the observatories are 25$ for adults and 19$ for children to go to the 86th floor and an extra charge of 17$ to go to the top, the 102th floor.

The Empire State observatory offers the most amazing views of New York City,  where you 

can see a view of 360º of the City, the Chrysler building, the downtown of Manhattan, New Jersey, Rockefeller center and the rest of the skyscrapers in New York City, and depending of the weather and the day, also the Statue of Liberty.

The Empire state building has appeared in almost 90 movies, as ‘when Harry met Sally’, ‘An Affair to remember’, ‘Annie Hall’ or ‘King Kong’ which has one of the most famous moments, when King Kong finds Ann and climbs into the top of the building where is surrounded by plane that made King Kong fall down and die.
And also has been visited by more than seventy million people, some of them famous people as Penelope Cruz, Pierce Brosnan, Mary J. Blige, Fidel Castro or the Queen Elisabeth II.

One of the most interesting things about the Empire State Building is that the top is always illuminated depending of the events, important dates or seasons, such as Christmas, Saint Valentine’s day or Independence day.

October 8                       Red/White/Green                    Columbus Day

September 11                Red/White/Blue                        In memory of September 11

July 3 - 4                       Red / White / Blue                   Independence Day

North/South Sides        Blue/White/Blue                     Yankees colors

East/West Sides           Blue/Orange/Blue                     Mets colors

March 16 - 18               Green / Green / Green             In honor of St. Patrick's Day

January 16                    Red / Black / Green                  In honor of Dr. Martin Luther    King, Jr. Day

November 23 - 27       Red / Orange / Yellow                In celebration of Thanksgiving

November 11 - 13        Red / White / Blue                      In honor of Veteran's Day

July 12 2010                 Red/Yellow/Red                          Spain won the World Cup

Video of the construction of the Empire State Building between 1939-1931 in New York City.

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