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

  1. #511
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Not sure of the process you go through to end up with an awesome rendering like this ...

    At this point can you, with a few clicks, view your ESB at any time of day showing full sunlight effects / shadows / etc. from any angle you like?

  2. #512
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    Pretty much. Once the geometry is down and the materials are programmed, the renderer does the hard part of figure out lighting and shadows given the time of day.





    AS BUILT:


    NOW (well, it's missing the handicap ramp, and all of the little random ugly antennas, but you get the idea)
    Last edited by STR; September 9th, 2011 at 01:10 AM.

  3. #513
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    Here's a view you don't see that often of the ESB:



    (according to a radio board I frequent, thats the CEO of ERI working with an engineer on their ESB FM antenna installation)

  4. #514

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    HHHHHHELL NO thanks! Got vertigo looking at that pic.

  5. #515

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    ...did you just drop that screw?!

  6. #516

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    "Dammit! I left that wrench in the truck."

  7. #517
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
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    So glad I remembered my diapers today.

  8. #518

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    Wall Street Journal
    November 10, 2011

    The Empire State Building's Luster Returns

    By Ada Louise Huxtable


    The Empire State Building's iconic tower at twilight. The whole project cost more than $550 million.


    The Empire State Building's renovated lobby.

    When the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell in 2001, it seemed like the end of the race for the sky. It was inconceivable that anyone would want to build, or inhabit, such a conspicuous terrorist target again.

    But history is rich in ironies; if the age of the skyscraper was over, it was only because the age of the superskyscraper had already begun. Advances in structural engineering, materials and technology, global financial shifts and the timeless incentives of ego and profit have created gigantic towers that are shattering all previous records for size. They are changing skylines and lives around the world.

    I, for one, am not in thrall to size; build very big and you can build very bad—and the very bad will be inescapable. I always felt that the twin towers disrupted New York's scale and skyline without compensating grace. They were more a sign of the Port Authority's zealous desire to enter the city's high-stakes real-estate game—while overreaching its transportation mandate—than an indicator of New York's greatness.

    If they symbolized anything, it was the personal ambition of the Port Authority's then-director, Austin J. Tobin, to construct the world's tallest buildings, something he was free to do because the Port Authority's independent status allowed it to override the city's zoning, code and height regulations. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki, whose forte was delicacy on a small scale, the result was the world's daintiest, most characterless big buildings until disaster restored the city's more familiar skyline. Symbolism was conferred on them posthumously by death and destruction.

    So where does the Empire State Building fit in the age of the superskyscraper? The record today is held by Dubai's Burj Khalifa, at more than twice the Empire State Building's 1,250 feet—a height almost as nostalgic as its dirigible mooring mast. Eighty years old, the Empire State Building is a city and national landmark. In New York's class-conscious office market, where buildings are graded from A to C, it was subjected to minimum maintenance and disfiguring "modernizations" by a series of owners, to the point where agents stopped bringing clients to its outmoded offices. But it never lost its popular appeal. Souvenir models continue to sell, and when a King Kong remake in 1976 was transferred to the taller World Trade Center, the film was as flat as the tops of the towers. It remains an iconic image for many New Yorkers and for much of the world.

    An iconic image is about much more than the brutal breaking of scale. Architecture transforms and fixes a city's identity; symbolic architecture is more than a conspicuous addition. New York has massed its generic glass towers around its two enduring Art Deco masterpieces—the Chrysler and Empire State buildings, and one of the most successful works of skyscraper place-making in recent history, Rockefeller Center. Try imagining the city without them. This dramatic combination has given New York an internationally recognized signature style.

    But by 2006 the Empire State Building was part of a money-losing package of buildings of steadily declining value and appeal that simply could not compete with the sleek new towers. An older building, even a celebrated older building, must pay its way. They were controlled by the estate of Leona Helmsley and W&H Properties, now Malkin Holdings LLC. The Malkin family supervises the properties and manages the Empire State Building through its Empire State Building Company LLC. (Don't ask—New York's byzantine real estate investment syndicates defy simple, or any, explanations.) Anthony Malkin, a third-generation member of a family long involved in the industry, believed that the older buildings had "good bones." But he was faced with the decision of whether to cut the losses by selling the entire portfolio, including the star property, or whether to invest heavily in bringing the buildings up to code and up to date. He decided to invest.

    Exterior brickwork was cleaned. Circulation and office space were reconfigured. Elevators and mechanical systems were replaced. Dropped panels and fluorescent fixtures that had been punched into decorative ceilings were removed, and damaged details were restored or reproduced. "Renovating an existing property is one thing," Mr. Malkin explains. "Renovating its image is another. You bring back the original luster or a reasonable facsimile."

    For the Empire State Building he went the extra mile. The upgrading program was announced in 2007, and more than $550 million has been spent on retrofitting and restoration between 2009 and the present, with refinements continuing. Much has been written about the advanced energy-saving installations carried out by experts, and how small, shabby offices more suggestive of shady detective agencies or fly-by-night financial operators were replaced by "prebuilt" high-tech interiors to attract prime corporate tenants.

    But it is the strategy of this turnaround that highlights the crucial difference between those who advocate for old buildings on the basis of art and history and those who deal in them as commercial commodities. Real estate has a succinct language of its own that serves as a defining and selling tool. The process began with "branding." To quote Mr. Malkin, "branding elevates the Empire State Building to a world-wide standard of excellence." It transforms an old, deteriorating, below-market property from a liability to a "prewar trophy building." This requires "repurposing" the building for contemporary needs and a higher class of better-paying—or, as Mr. Malkin puts it, "credit-worthy"—tenants.

    Preservationists refer to the process as "adaptive reuse," but their more intangible aesthetic and historical arguments just don't cut it; for the industry, this is a pragmatic, quantifiable procedure determined by the values of the marketplace. It's all about costs and return. Mr. Malkin is a businessman focused on the bottom line. His objective was to turn the Empire State Building into a state-of-the-art property with a restored image that would give it a unique competitive marketing edge.

    What has received less attention than the building's "greening" is how it was returned to its 1930s Art Deco style, much of which had been lost to a misguided 1960s makeover. Mr. Malkin went to the firm of Beyer Blinder Belle, restoration architects for Grand Central Terminal and other landmark structures. Using the original drawings of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and old photographs, it took two years of research by Frank J. Prial Jr., an associate partner, and Richard Metsky, the architect in charge of the project, to identify and replace what was gone. Fragments of colors and details found under layers of dirt were analyzed. Every decision had to be integrated into the new technologies and security systems without compromising the architects' original intent. (It took less than two years for the Empire State Building to be completed; the construction log kept by the building engineers, Starrett Brothers & Ekin, was recently discovered and republished by the Skyscraper Museum.)

    Unlike the lush, elaborate, French-inspired, high Deco romanticism of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State's massing and design is a more simplified, commercial evocation of the Machine Age, a favorite theme of the time. The stylized mural of the original high, arched, Fifth Avenue entrance, a geometric abstraction of industrial gears and wheels executed in gold and aluminum leaf, had been painted over and partly destroyed by a hung acrylic ceiling and fluorescent fixtures. Aluminum was an expensive and fashionable new metal in the 1930s, and although silver leaf is more commonly used and cheaper today, Mr. Malkin went for aluminum and authenticity in the restoration by EverGreene Architectural Arts.

    By now, Mr. Malkin was on a roll. Chandeliers that had been designed in the 1930s but never executed were produced during restoration by Rambusch Studios, the firm responsible for much of the original decoration. The ceiling's restored cove lighting has been dimmed to its 1930s levels, bringing out a variety of subtle tones in the book-matched marble walls, long killed by the harsh fluorescents. A specially commissioned lighted-glass mural by Denise Amses backs a newly designed desk for the entrance now located on the "repurposed" 34th Street side that separates business activity from the lines for the perennially popular observation deck.

    Real estate is all about risks and rewards, and by any measure Mr. Malkin's ambitious and expensive gamble paid off. The restored and revitalized Empire State Building has some of the highest rents and most sought-after office space in the city. Its new tenants include leading financial, law and communications firms. Preservationists see it as a win for the city's architectural heritage. Mr. Malkin views it with enormous personal pride. "I'd rather be known for making the building a great success than to be known for selling it as a failure."

    Jaded New Yorkers, join the international tourists—go. Don't miss the plaques identifying the workers who constructed the building in the 1930s and those who have re-created it for the 21st century. Stop for a quick pizza, or stay for a late cocktail at a cool, upscale bar; both are behind redesigned storefronts in the refurbished side corridors. You might even have your picture taken next to the illuminated model below the celestial celebration of the Industrial Age. Enjoy it all. It is our building, and still the most famous office tower in the world. It is New York.

    Ms. Huxtable is the Journal's architecture critic.

    Copyright ©2011 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  9. #519

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    An IPO for the Empire State Building?

    The family that controls the iconic property has filed tentative plans for a publicly traded company.


    By Kim Peterson on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 4:29 PM

    How'd you like to own a piece of the Empire State Building? The 102-story skyscraper may be open to investors if one family gets its way.

    The Malkin family, which controls the property, has filed plans with regulators for a publicly traded company that includes the building, The New York Times reports.

    The filing (which you can see here) doesn't say a whole lot. It refers to a company called Empire State Building Associates, and says that the Malkin family is working to include the company in a new real estate investment trust, or REIT.

    The REIT would be a public company, which means we'll eventually see some registration papers with more financial details. The filing says the company will provide more documents in about three months.

    The REIT would include two other buildings controlled by Anthony Malkin and his father, Peter Malkin, the Times reports. Those would be a 55-story tower across the street from Grand Central Terminal and a 26-story building at 250 West 57th Street in New York. Goldman Sachs (GS -1.79%) is expected to underwrite the deal, the Times adds.

    It's a good time for a REIT to go public. Investors searching for decent returns have shoveled some $6 million into publicly traded REITs this year, Smart Money reports, up 18% from 2010 and 400% from 2009.

    Unlike the tumultuous residential sector, commercial real estate values have been relatively stable with yields investors can appreciate. The Glimcher Realty Trust (GRT +0.37%), for example, has a dividend yield of 5.1%. LTC Properties (LTC -0.44%), a healthcare REIT, has a dividend yield of around 6.3%.

    http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post...2-d09eab9f17da


    With stock market volatility, maybe they should wait on this one.

  10. #520
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Great quality work!

  11. #521
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    Here's a view you don't see that often of the ESB:
    "I need to piss"

  12. #522
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    After reading that article above (post # 518), I have new found respect for Mr. Anthony Malkin.

    Good job, Mr. Malkin.

  13. #523
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
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    Here's something you don't see every day...


  14. #524
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Enna Jettick Walking Shoes

  15. #525
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
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    ^ LOL!

    It does look strangely stunted without the antenna.

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