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

  1. #46

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    How about some interior shots?

    http://t101.000k.net/esb/

  2. #47

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    I mostly like pictures of the skyscraper itself. But the best pictures are those which have high resolution. The higer resolution, the more realistic picture

  3. #48

  4. #49
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    Fantastic shots! I love the clouds/fogs swirling around it in the nighttime photos!

  5. #50

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    Thanks!

    I work in the building and, interesting to note, they started working on the restrooms on our floor last April. Seven months later, they're nowhere near finished.

    Of course, the entire building only took 11 months to construct, over 70 years ago!!!

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  8. #53

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    That is an amazing angle!

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    Dizzy.

  10. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myron
    finally re-visited the Empire State Building; as the other deck I used to visit was destroyed. The view is still breathtaking; as is the architecture. The small 86th Floor Observatory is so crowded because it wasn't built for so many visitors. The only problem I had was with my camcorder. It seems the strong magnetic fields from all those antennas can cause havoc with electronics. My camera was going on and off. My old 35mm SLR worked fine. She still is the finest looking building in my opinion. To the management's credit, they froze costs to pre 9-11 levels for the networks that had to return to the antenna on the Empire State. Also, can you think of any other skyscraper that has a tower lighting schedule based on seasons, holidays or current events?
    The Metropolitan Life Tower installed lnew lighting last year. I don't know what the schedule is.

  11. #56

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    A couple of cool cloudy shots from the web cam.



  12. #57

    Default 08/01/05






  13. #58
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    Empire State Building

    Empire State Building to Update Its Tourist Experience


    The owners and managers of the Empire State Building worked with BRC Imagination Arts to devise upgrades for waiting areas.


    By JOHN HOLUSHA
    Published: January 19, 2005

    It is not easy to change a building that is so famous that mail from around the world finds its way to "the Empire State Building" without a city or country in the address.

    But the managers of the building have decided that, landmark or not, it is time to update some aspects of the building at 350 Fifth Avenue so that tourists have a better time when they visit.

    The view, just about everyone agrees, is terrific from the 86th-floor observation deck. But visitors are often treated more like cattle than people, forced to wait in long lines in a hot basement to board the elevators to the top floor.

    That will begin to change this spring. The waiting areas will be transformed with additional security checkpoints and ticket windows to minimize delays and add a dash of entertainment for those who wait.

    The managers have hired BRC Imagination Arts which has extensive experience in theme park and museum design, to create tourist-friendly attractions within the building, and the two parties recently held a daylong meeting to produce specific plans.

    Among other things, it was decided that starting in the spring, visitors will not be sent to the basement but will instead go up an escalator to a waiting area on the air-conditioned second floor. Not much can be done about the carrying capacity of the elevators to the 80th floor, so the waiting will remain, but in an area that offers entertainment focusing on the building's history and its connections with celebrities. Technology that projects images on the floor in a darkened room will try to give visitors the illusion that they are standing on a girder 50 stories high during the construction of the building in the 1930's.

    The 80th floor is the upper limit of the building's high-speed elevators. There, visitors have to wait for slower elevators to complete the trip to the top, causing a buildup of people in the corridors.

    To break up the long lines, the waiting area will be divided into a series of connecting rooms where plasma screens and other visual devices will tell the story of the construction of the building and will show excerpts from films that use it as a backdrop. "The different areas can change an hour wait into six different 10-minute waits," said Bob Rogers, the chairman of BRC.

    In 2006, the 80th and 86th floors will also be remodeled, although not much will change on the famous open-air viewing area on the 86th floor. The paneled office of the building's first manager, Alfred E. Smith, the former governor of New York who was the Democratic candidate for president in 1928, is to be incorporated into the 80th-floor holding area, possibly with animated depictions of Mr. Smith.

    A gift shop that now interferes with traffic flow on the 86th floor will be moved to the 80th floor as tenants are moved elsewhere and more tourist-oriented retailing is added.

    Bathrooms will also be added during the upper-floor renovations, which are planned for January through March, when there are fewer visitors. According to Mr. Rogers, whose company specializes in designing entertainment centers, when a tour bus pulls up to an attraction, finding a bathroom is the matter uppermost on the minds of at least 7 percent of passengers.

    Some 3.6 million people visited the Empire State Building last year, and the total has been rising in recent years. Although one visitor wrote on an Internet opinion site that the wait for elevators was equivalent to being in the "seventh level of hell," surveys of visitors to the observatory, conducted last June, indicated that most were pleased with the experience.

    "In spite of the lines, 75 percent of visitors rate it as a positive experience," said Anthony E. Malkin, the president of Wien & Malkin, which has day-to-day control of the building. "We want to improve on that."

    The building is owned by partnerships led by Peter Malkin, the chairman of Wien & Malkin, who is Anthony's father, and is controlled by a lease held by Mr. Malkin and Leona Helmsley as a result of the role her husband, Harry Helmsley, had in purchasing the building.

    Mr. Malkin said the other managers deliberated seriously before deciding to change the building. "We started thinking about this about five years ago, but it took a while to recapture the space on the second floor and to find a designer who could work with us," Mr. Malkin said.

    BRC, which is based in Burbank, Calif., has done projects for Disney, General Motors and NASA and designed the Texas State History Museum in Austin and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

    In addition to improving the tourist experience, Mr. Malkin said, the redesign is intended to separate tourists from the 15,000 people who work each day in the building, which has 2.7 million square feet of office space.

    The building is one of the few prime tourist destinations that is a major business site, as well. "It's like operating the Statue of Liberty on top of the MetLife Building," Mr. Malkin said. Having tourists in flip-flops and fussy children mixing in the lobby with tenants and their visitors can be a detriment to office leasing, real estate executives said.

    In spite of its importance as an office building, the Empire State Building has always been, above all, an attraction. It was for a long time the world's tallest building, built by John J. Raskob, a former executive of General Motors, specifically to be taller than Walter P. Chrysler's building on 42nd Street.

    It is 1,250 feet to the tip of the "mooring mast," which was supposed to be an anchoring point for the dirigibles that were once seen as the future of air travel. In fact, updrafts caused by the artificial canyons of Manhattan made such dockings impossible.

    The building was constructed with astonishing speed in the early days of the Depression, when labor and materials were readily available, taking just one year and 45 days before the opening on May 1, 1931. During construction, rails were installed on 34th Street to move the steel columns and beams; according to legend, they arrived still warm from mills in Pittsburgh.

    Because it opened at a time the economy of the country was contracting, tenants were scarce in the early days and it was frequently referred to as the "Empty State Building." That made the observation deck an important contributor to the building's finances, a situation that continues to this day. The funds go to operate and renovate the building.

    In those early days, Mr. Smith used his connections to lure dignitaries, including Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and aspiring movie actresses, to the observation deck, and photographs of them taking in the sights were widely circulated in newsreels, newspapers and magazines.

    Promotions on the observation deck have included mass weddings on Valentine's Day and overnight campouts by scout troops. Some of these have been de-emphasized as security concerns have heightened and tourist traffic increased, but the buildings colored lights have increasingly been used to support various causes. Building officials reported there were 140 special lightings last year, with green lights for St. Patrick's Day, for example, and blue and white for a day celebrating the United Nations.

    The building has also been a backdrop to dozens of movies. "King Kong" was the most famous, of course, but others include "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

    If they succeed in improving the tourist experience with shorter lines and more entertainment, building officials are hoping to increase tour prices, currently $12 for adults, toward $20. Also under consideration is a V.I.P. tour that would bypass the waiting entirely and visit the currently unused observatory on the 102nd floor.



    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

  14. #59

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    The Empire State Building and the GE Building at night. The view from Central Park's Reservoir. 7 February 2005.


  15. #60
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    The color scheme last night was in observance of Grenada's Independence Day.

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