One of the iconic locales in New York City that was on my must-see list was the Empire State Building. Not only has it been in more than 250 feature films, but it’s just a stunning piece of architectural engineering, towering more than a quarter of a mile above the heart of Manhattan. This world famous landmark was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1972 and stands as a monument both honored and adored by New Yorkers and Americans at large.I smirk to myself because my kids and I love the movie Elf and lines from the movie cross my mind as we walk in. My husband, far more refined as we enter, is a civil engineer and this is the type of place that he is in awe of, something so grand in scale compared what he’s used to working on. Immediately he finds the plaque from the ASCE, while I’m still thinking about Elf.
Upon meeting our guide, I’ve pulled it together and we admire the renovation done back in 2009. The recreation and installation of the new Art Deco mural from it’s original Machine Age ornate ceiling consumed nearly twice the time it took to construct the Empire State Building which was 1 year 45 days!
The world’s most glamorous celebrities and notable dignitaries have come to admire the Empire State Building’s Art Deco beauty and we got a sneak peek at the walls filled with their photos, everyone is a tourist sometimes!
Sometimes called the “most famous office building in the world”, the Empire State Building is amazingly visitor friendly. Visitors are welcomed to enter through the 5th Street entrance and routed through the lobby to the second floor visitor center where tickets are available for purchase and a compelling exhibit detailing the extraordinary efforts that have recently been implemented to make the building more energy efficient. In a world that is continually pushing for newer, bigger and better, this sustainability exhibit provides an excellent example of older, better and still big.
Boarding the elevator to the 80th floor is an experience that only a handful of buildings can offer. The recently completed museum on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building beautifully tells the story of the dreamers, engineers, architects, designers and tradesmen who brought this landmark to life. Though recognizable to people around the world, the sheer size of the building is indescribable. Displays itemizing material quantities and the speed at which the building was constructed makes you wonder why it takes your local city 2 weeks to fill in a pothole.
But the real story is the feeling you get when you reach the 86th floor outdoor observation deck. Walk out to the edge and look down and . . . catch your breath. Breathtaking. A panorama including New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and the Atlantic Ocean. It is not everyday when the world is laid out like a map before you.
A favorite activity of mine was to try to spot all the other tourist locations we had visited or planned to visit. The unmatched views of New York City are phenomenal.
We were lucky enough to ride an elevator an additional 16 stories up to the 102nd floor observation deck. This area is fully enclosed and was built originally as a passenger blimp dock.
At 1,250 feet this is truly the top of the city. The Empire State Building is definitely a must see attraction when visiting New York City, it clearly stands tall as an example of a proud hard working City and State that embodies the word Empire.
Personal tour was offered, all opinions are 100% our own.