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Thread: Empire State Building - 350 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street - by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

  1. #181


    The Empire State Building is a cool building. It is quintenssential New York.

  2. #182


    I don't live in NYC and I've only been working there for six months... but is it true that you can't take photographs in the subways?

  3. #183
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    You're sort of allowed to -- but in rare instances you might get questioned by an Officer of the Law.

  4. #184

  5. #185
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    New York, Las Vegas, LA


    Nice images. World’s #1 building with a classic masonry facade.

  6. #186
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Yes, a very powerful iconic building it is.

    I wonder when it'll be the next to convert to condos.

  7. #187
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    It's got the right layout for that...

  8. #188

    Default New Closing Time!

    Show to go until 2 a.m. at Empire State Bldg.

    The city doesn't go to bed at midnight, and neither will the Empire State Building,
    after extending observatory hours to 2 a.m. this summer in celebration of the skyscraper's
    75th anniversary. Beginning June 22, the last elevator to the 86th- and 102nd-floor
    observatories will depart at 1:15 a.m.
    Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays until Sept. 10.
    The observatories normally close at midnight, with the last elevator leaving at 11:15 p.m.
    "In a word, it's magical," said the Empire State Building's Robert Zorn.
    "The lights of the city are still aglow. The difference between night and day up there is tremendous.
    This will afford visitors and locals
    the ability to enjoy that spectacular view."
    Officials hope the extended hours will bring more people to New York's tallest building,
    which already draws 3.5 million visitors a year.
    "It's not just a landmark for New York, it's an icon around the world," Zorn said.
    "The building may be 75 years old, but it's actually a very modern building, a world-class observatory."
    The ride to the 86th floor costs $16, with an additional $14 to go to the 102nd.

  9. #189


    From the WSJ:

    There was a great photo in the newspaper which has the WTC towers in the background. But the online version is only a thumbnail, and is not worth posting becuase of it's small size...


    A Soaring Achievement

    The Empire State Building, now 75, became an icon in record time. Here's its story.

    June 3, 2006; Page P14

    I recently gave a talk at the Museum of the City of New York to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Empire State Building. I started by asking "Who painted 'The Night Watch'?" A chorus of "Rembrandt" rang out. I then asked who had designed New York City's most famous building, an icon of both the city and the nation, and I heard ... nothing.

    For the record, the architects were Richmond H. Shreve and William F. Lamb, who were joined by Arthur Loomis Harmon to form Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. They were given a juicy plum when the building was announced in September 1929, but it came with one string attached. A tradition in New York had commercial leases beginning on May 1 or Oct. 1. If a building was not open for business on either of those dates, renting would limp along until the next season. They were given until May 1, 1931 -- 20 months.

    Shreve, Lamb & Harmon considered themselves modernists. But their notion of modernism was a building that was both erected and operated efficiently. If it looked good, so much the better, and this building did.

    Almost overnight, the Empire State Building was declared a masterpiece. The Architectural League awarded its medal of honor to Lamb for his "masterful treatment of an office building." For the building's "noble simplicity," the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects awarded the firm its medal of honor. For architectural excellence, the Fifth Avenue Association awarded the building its gold medal.

    The building's primary backer was John J. Raskob, formerly the chief financial officer of General Motors and, in 1928, Democratic Party chairman. His front man was Alfred E. Smith, the former governor of New York -- the Empire State -- and losing Democratic nominee for the presidency in 1928.

    Their original plan was for a 65-story building, then for an 80-story, or 1,000-foot building. Otis Elevator Co. said that anything taller was impossible lest the elevator cables collapse under their own weight. But when the Chrysler Building reached 1,048 feet, Raskob couldn't have Walter Chrysler upstage him. A five-story "penthouse" reached by a shuttle elevator was added, pushing the building to 1,050 feet. But what if a developer built a skyscraper two feet taller?

    Raskob and Smith decided to add a 200-foot-high dirigible mooring mast. It was the looniest scheme since the Tower of Babel, but it gave the building one of the most dramatic crowns that ever a building wore. And at 1,250 feet, the skyscraper held the world's tallest laurels until the first World Trade Center tower opened in 1972 at 110 stories, or 1,350 feet.

    The construction operation was an assembly line, only the product was stationary -- the workers were on the move. The ironworkers threw steel higher and faster than anybody had ever dreamed, and the other crafts kept abreast of the pace -- a record-breaking 4˝ floors a week. The American Society of Civil Engineers has declared the building not only "one of the seven greatest engineering achievements in American history," but "one of the top engineering monuments of the Millennium."

    The facing was limestone, which was ostensibly profligate, but laying finished brick is time consuming, and most of the limestone's edges could be rough cut because stainless-steel mullions would run up the sides of the building to cover the joins. Windows were installed that came flush with the facing, again abrogating the need for finished edges on the limestone. And pre-cast aluminum spandrels would cover common brick between the top of one window and the bottom of the one above.

    There is a marvelous play of light and shadow on the building, in part because the architects designed bays. But the bays were not just for aesthetics. In standard buildings, there are four corner offices per floor. On stories six to 20 of the Empire State Building, there are 12 per floor, and for most floors no fewer than eight.

    Another glory of the design is that from the sixth floor up, the building gradually narrows. It wasn't simply to conform to the zoning law or for aesthetics. Elevators and service areas were in the core of the building, with offices ringing them. There are seven elevator banks in the building, one bank serving the third to seventh floors, a second serving the seventh to 18th, and so on. As elevator banks dropped away, the building slimmed proportionately.

    The building planned in the boom of the '20s opened in the bust of the '30s. That partly explains the speed of construction and the financial windfall. With little competition, deliveries were punctual, and prices were frequently negotiable. The rental agent's leasing standards were not. A building that opened at 50% occupancy was off to a decent start. The building opened at less than 25%. By November 1931, it was dubbed the "Empty State Building."

    The skyscraper endured the Depression, due in part to its observatories. To this day, natives and tourists alike line up to see the view from the top -- "The closest thing to heaven in New York," as Deborah Kerr says in "An Affair to Remember." Last year's count was 3.8 million visitors.

    I have always loved the building, and I still don't fully understand why. Its form has always seemed delicate, almost huggable, its splendor and lift, its very being a magical presence.


  10. #190

  11. #191


    Excellent photos. I'll add some of my personal favorites of the greatest
    skyscraper ever built (arguably, Chrysler could be called NY's greatest, but
    the ESB truly holds the title)...

  12. #192


    New York Times
    July 13, 2006

    After Midnight, Romance on the Observation Deck


    With family and tourist groups gone, and despite the glare of lights from the souvenir shop, couples enjoy romantic moments in the last two hours before the deck closes.

    Midnight at the Empire State Building. Gone are the long lines, the strollers and the tour bus crowds. Instead, at 1,050 feet, with rain clouds colored pink, romance abounds.

    With the lights of Wall Street glimmering in the distance, Kevin Livingston, 28, of Queens, takes advantage of the setting.

    He turns to Charlotte Harrison, 27, who is also from Queens and who has been dating him for three weeks. “Will you be my girlfriend?” he asks. Then he declares that even New York City’s lights have nothing on her.

    On the east deck another couple, more serious, are locked in a tight embrace.

    Yes, she has just whispered. Yes, of course she will be his wife.

    The couple, Aisha, 25, and Imran, 32, who would give only their first names, met on, a Muslim social networking site. Six months’ worth of e-mail messages later — Aisha from Montreal, Imran from London — they made plans to meet for the first time in New York.

    Now, atop the Empire State Building, they share their first kiss, and Imran whispers the proposal in Aisha’s ear.

    While many of the city’s most popular attractions — the Statue of Liberty, the Bronx Zoo — have been closed for hours, the Empire State still beckons. And this year the arrival of warmer nights coincides with the pushing back of the observation deck’s closing, to 2 a.m. from midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 9. Tickets, $16 for adults, may be bought anytime during the day on which they are to be used.

    At that late — or early — hour in the summer, the platform becomes a lovers’ lane for couples in search of a late-night view. Their idea, of course, is nothing new — from “An Affair to Remember’’ to “Sleepless in Seattle,’’ the platform has been a classic stage.

    How many proposals could the observation deck have seen in its 75 years?

    Mira Akerman, 34, who flew to New York from Sweden for her wedding, has come to the top for a postnuptial kiss with new husband, Martin Nilsson, 33. Running out on the deck, still in her white wedding dress, she explains, “It’s such a New York thing to do.”

    Hector Rosado, 43, a security guard on duty, says the atmosphere 86 floors up definitely changes at night.

    “With the night lights it’s different,” he says. “They enjoy the view. I mean they really enjoy it.”

    Two more New Yorkers, Adam Bogan, 30, a financial adviser at J. P. Morgan, and his companion, Sarah Yatto, 27, who works at Bloomingdale’s, stumbled upon the still-open attraction after dinner in the neighborhood.

    “It’s dark, it’s foggy, it’s kind of smoky — the city looks mysterious,” Ms. Yatto says, looking uptown from underneath their shared umbrella.

    Mr. Bogan agrees. “If there was a bar, we’d be here all the time,” he says.

    Still, not everyone finds it romantic. Naomi Pate, a student at the University of Georgia, heads inside to search for someone in her party who seems to have disappeared.

    “I think he’s afraid of heights,” she says, alone for the moment on the east deck.

    Students visiting from George Washington University, Jay Bhatt, 19, and Priya Patel, 20, look toward Times Square.

    “It’s just so peaceful,” Mr. Bhatt says. “You have time to think.”

    According to Bob Zorn, director of the observatory, guards working at night had been turning visitors away at midnight for years — people who had come from Broadway shows or a romantic dinner. The new closing hours are an experiment, to see how much interest there will be. “If it’s successful as we feel it will be,” Mr. Zorn said, “we’ll continue to do it.”

    On this night, John Lee arrives at the deck about 1:15 a.m. with a dozen travel mates, many of them from Korea. “We weren’t aware it was open that late,” he says.

    They are part of an organization called the Christian Gospel Mission and are touring the United States. Mr. Lee, 38, from Los Angeles, is interpreting. The group poses for pictures, the East Side’s lights their backdrop, and then their leader, Joeun Jung, starts a prayer.

    “She was so moved by all the beautiful light,” Mr. Lee said afterward. “Each light represented a person or a family or a group.”

    After they got married, Martin Nilsson and Mira Akerman visited the Empire State Building Observation deck after midnight.

    Members of The Christian Gospel Mission pray for New York City and sing hymns.

    Countless lovebirds have left their marks on the Empire State Building, with new declarations replacing those that have faded.

    The misty atmosphere has inspired Kevin Livingston to ask Charlotte Harrison if she will be his steady girlfriend. Her answer seems obvious.

    David Mehjoub, center, photographed the top of the building as David Mertens, right, looked on. Both were visiting from Brussels.

    Some people are on the phone, buying postcards or peering at the view, but a couple managed to find a private space for an embrace.

    Some of the souvenirs in the observation deck gift shop.

    Inside the gift shop of the observation deck.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  13. #193
    King Omega XVI OmegaNYC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Clifton, NJ


    The GREATEST skyscraper ever build. Period. The Empire State Building.

  14. #194


    Classic-ness just oozes out of shots like these.

  15. #195
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


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