The Empire State Building, one of the country’s most recognizable landmarks, is both a favorite destination of national and international travelers and filmmakers. Since its official opening in 1931, the massive 102-story structure has been in over 250 feature films, including classics such as “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Independence Day,” and “Taxi Driver.”
The iconic building, which gained its name from the state of New York, the Empire State, was the world’s tallest building for 40 years, following its construction in 1930. The art deco style building was constructed in 15 months, ahead of schedule and under budget, with a final construction cost of just under $25 million.
One of the Empire State Building’s most famous features is the tower lighting. The lights are so popular that the building has a detailed lighting schedule available for review months in advance. By displaying a seemingly endless variety of light colors, the Empire State Building celebrates the country and the world’s many cultures, causes, events, and milestones.
1930 – Excavation of the future site of the Empire State Building begins in January and construction is completed in November.
1931 – President Hoover officially opens the building on May 1st.
1937 – A man completes the first sanctioned climb to the top of the building, reaching the top in 36 minutes
1956 – The Freedom Lights, four large beacon lights, are installed at the bottom of the television tower
1964 – Escalators are installed in the Empire State Building
1976 – In this year, the 50 millionth visitor walks through the Empire State Building’s doors
1980 – The building receives its own zip code
2007 – The building is named “America’s Favorite Architecture” by the American Institute of Architects