Empire State Building

The building that defined an epoch, it stood as the world's tallest for over 40 years.

TravelCurious Tip

Head to the 86th floor observation deck between 9pm and 1am Thursday to Saturday for some live saxophone to accompany the view

The Empire State Building is an American cultural icon. With its distinctive Art Deco style, it has been labeled one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. And they weren’t simply biased: it truly is an extraordinary building.

It was built in just 410 days, using seven million hours of labour during the Great Depression. The building officially opened in 1931 in dramatic fashion, when President Herbert Hoover switched on the building’s lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C. Coming in at 443m high with its antenna, it stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years.

Now you can enjoy the view from rather safer environments on the 86th and 102nd floors. Sunset in particular is spectacular, as the natural light fades and the infinite squares of artificial light flicker on in the skyscrapers of the city that never sleeps.

The Most Beautiful Suicide

The observation decks have seen their share of tragedy too. Most famously, on May 1st, 1947, Evelyn McHale jumped to her death from the 86th floor observation deck, landing on a parked limousine. Photography student Robert Wiles took a photo of McHale’s body, which lies strangely serene, the rumpled hood of the car like slept-in bed sheets. Often referred to as “The Most Beautiful Suicide”, the image was later used by Andy Warhol.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
New York City Public Library
This magnificent building holds a collection of over 50 million volumes.
Bryant Park
A green oasis amongst skyscrapers and the hubbub of city life, popular with city workers taking a break.
Grand Central Station
One of the USA's most famous landmarks, this historic transport hub made New York what it is today.
Chrysler Building
A stunning Art Deco pinnacle, the Chrysler was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1930.
There's a show for everyone in the world's premier theatre district.
Hotel Chelsea
A historic hotel, home to many famous characters from the past including Jimi Hendricks and Dylan Thomas.

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