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The Empire State Building in New York - United States

The Empire State Building is a famous landmark in New York City and one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Standing at a height of 1,250 feet (381 meters), it is also the fifth-tallest building in the city and the third-tallest freestanding structure. Construction began on this iconic skyscraper in March 1930 and was completed just 17 months later in October 1931. It has been widely reported that the original planners of the building intended it to be only a temporary structure that would stand for 20 years until something taller and better could be built. However, as this article will explain, those plans did not come to fruition, and instead, the building still stands today as an iconic piece of architecture and one of New York’s landmarks.

Why was the Empire State Building built?

The Empire State Building was built as a commercial office building, but the reasons behind this decision are less clear. While New York was and is still a major commercial center, the planning of the building’s location is often cited as one of the reasons it became the iconic structure we know today. While the building was being planned, the New York State government offered a temporary tax exemption for any commercial construction with a height of more than 380 feet (116 meters). While this tax exemption was only supposed to last for 12 years, it was never revoked, and as a result, the owners of the Empire State Building decided to make the building as tall as possible.

Empire State Building Design Details

The Empire State Building is most famous for its Art Deco design and its observation deck. The building has 102 floors, and the top 12 are cantilevered with no wall. This design allows unobstructed 360-degree views of New York, which is why the observation deck became such a popular tourist destination. The Empire State Building is also famous for its architectural design. The building is one of the first examples of a “new” style of skyscraper design that was emerging in the early to the mid-20th century. This “new” style was designed with the idea that skyscrapers can serve as more than just office buildings. They can be designed as works of art and be built to be as tall as possible. Visions of New York in the future often imagined Manhattan as a sort of “cosmic city” with an endless skyline of tall skyscrapers. The Empire State Building was built to fit into this vision of New York, and as a result, it is considered one of the most iconic and recognizable buildings in the world.

Renovation and Preservation Efforts

The Empire State Building is currently undergoing a major renovation and preservation effort. This initiative is expected to last a decade, and as a result, the observation deck will be closed until 2021. The renovation includes retrofitting the building to increase its seismic and wind resistance and repairing the water damage that has occurred over the years. In addition, the renovation will also bring the building up to modern safety and energy efficiency standards. This renovation is expected to cost $550 million, and the building’s owners have said that they will cover the costs. This renovation project has received criticism from some people who say that it is unnecessary and a waste of money. However, the owners of the Empire State Building have defended their decision, saying that retrofitting is necessary to ensure that the building is preserved for future generations.

The Empire State Building Attack

The Empire State Building has a dark history that many may not be aware of. On February 26, 1993, a man named Frank Roșca crashed his Piper Cherokee airplane into one of the 72nd-floor windows of the building. Roșca was upset over his inability to obtain a job with the New York Police Department after he immigrated to the United States from Romania. Fortunately, no people were killed in the attack, although Roșca and his passenger were killed in the crash. The building’s facade was seriously damaged in the attack, but it was repaired, and the only reminder of the incident is a small plaque located on a column next to the damaged facade. The attack is often cited as an example of how buildings need to be retrofitted to be more secure in the event of another terrorist attack.

How many Visitors?

The Empire State Building is the third-most visited paid tourist attraction in the United States behind only the Smithsonian museums and the Las Vegas Strip. More than 3.5 million people visit the building each year, which ranks it as the most visited tourist attraction in New York City.


The Empire State Building is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most iconic buildings in the world. However, it was not always this way. The building, like every other piece of architecture, went through design changes and a challenging construction timeline. While the building was intended to be a temporary structure, the tax exemptions offered during its construction meant that it ended up being built as tall as possible. This is one of the reasons why the Empire State Building became such a famous and iconic structure.