According to the Empire State Building's website, the renowned Midtown landmark is visited around 25 times every year. However, the number of times lightning has struck the building is unknown.
On August 29, 2013 at about 2:30 p.m., a storm cell formed over New York City and began moving east toward Long Island. Just before 4 p.m., the center of the storm was over Westchester County, New York. Heavy rain was reported in northern Westchester County along with hail up to 3 inches in diameter. There were no injuries reported but several cars were damaged by falling trees.
The Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable structures in New York City. Built in 1931, it is located at 5th Avenue and 34th Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The art deco skyscraper has been called the world's greatest display case of luxury merchandise. Its current owner, Taiwan-based developer Evergreen Investments, paid $75 million for the right to lease space from ESB for its own brands and products.
In addition to its location, another reason why people wonder how often the Empire State Building has been struck by lightning is that it has an amazing history of survival.
According to the Empire State Building's official website, the building is a lightning rod for the surrounding region and gets struck by lightning an average of 23 times each year. The website also states that if you look out over the city from the 86th floor observation deck, you can see evidence of past strikes.
However, not all people believe this to be true. Some have said they found this story to be ridiculous when they looked into it further and didn't find any proof to back up the claim that the building is actually a lightning rod.
In fact, there are only four structures in New York City that are designated as being a public safety hazard because of their shape: Two World Trade Center buildings (1,350 feet and 1,454 feet) were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The third is the Empire State Building (1,247 feet). And the fourth is One World Trade Center, which at 472 feet is less than half the height of the Empire State Building.
Furthermore, no evidence has ever been presented to show that any high-rise building successfully prevented a strike against itself or its occupants.
Lightning frequently strikes the same location repeatedly, especially if the item is tall, sharp, and solitary. The Empire State Building is struck 23 times each year on average! That's more than any other building in New York City.
The frequency with which buildings are struck by lightning depends on many factors such as size, construction type, orientation, environment, etc. But one factor that does not vary much from place to place or time to time is the average height of the struck object. Tall structures like skyscrapers and transmission lines are common targets for storm clouds looking to charge up their energy. When this happens, they can send out a wave of current that can damage or even destroy these objects.
The probability of being struck by lightning increases with height. This is because there are more ways to reach the top of a high tower than just jumping off the side. Also, more people live at those heights which means there are more opportunities for someone to be injured by falling debris.
The number of strikes near ground level may appear high at first glance, but it actually represents an area about half the size of a football field. The density of population around small towns and cities makes them attractive targets for charging storms. A single large city has more potential victims than a single large building since more people are affected by the strike.
And, because it's in lower Manhattan, you can still see the Empire State Building. This is an excellent location for a romantic photoshoot, anniversary meal, proposal, or any other little event. The rental price covers the internal area as well, but let's be honest: with a rooftop this lovely, you won't want to go inside.
The view from here will take your breath away. In the morning, you'll see men hard at work putting the final touches on the new World Trade Center site, and in the evening, you'll see the lights of New York City below. There are many photo opportunities around this point, including views from the side and back.
You can also shoot from within the building if you prefer. The Empire State Building offers several galleries where visitors can take photos with their smartphones or digital cameras. You can even get a photo taken with one of the cameras located throughout the building if you wish.
There are no charges for taking pictures here and the staff is very friendly, so have fun!
Oh, and one more thing: the Empire State Building is open daily from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., except on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Closed on New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Easter Sunday, 4th of July, Labor Day, and President's Day.