60,000 tons of steel, 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, 10 million bricks, and 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel go towards the construction of the Empire State Building. Throughout the construction, steel columns and beams form a sturdy 3-D grid. The walls are made of concrete blocks filled with crushed stone to make them stronger. The building has three levels of parking garages.
The construction of the Empire State Building began on April 16, 1931 and it was completed in just under one year and one month. The original design called for a skyscraper that was to be at least 1,016 feet tall, but after several changes were made by the architects, they decided to go with a slightly shorter version of their plan called "Model B". The actual height of this building is 1,250 feet, but because of an elevator malfunction that lasted for many months, there are only seven floors above ground level. The Empire State Building is now the second highest point in New York City behind the World Trade Center. It's also the third oldest building in New York City (behind Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel).
You may have seen photos or movies about how the Empire State Building was built. That movie called "A Man Among Men" was based on the true story of a young architect who was chosen to design the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is a triumph of 20th-century engineering, with 57,000 tons of steel columns and beams, 62,000 cubic yards of concrete, 6,400 windows, and 67 elevators in 7 miles of shafts. It is the world's most expensive building per square foot ($15 million). The building takes about 10 years to construct.
Concrete makes up the majority of the structure, including the floor plates, walls, and ceilings. Inside the elevator cabins, for example, you can see thick layers of concrete attached with wood pegs.
The top three floors are made of glass. From the 86th floor observatory, you can see all the way to New Jersey.
The building was designed by William F. Lamb, who also designed the Chrysler Building, and it is considered one of the first modern buildings. It was completed in 1931 at a cost of $40 million ($250 million in 2007 dollars).
In 1998, a fire started on the 56th floor restaurant Carlucci's and spread quickly due to some candles being lit near a couch where children were sitting. The blaze took just over an hour to contain because there was no fire alarm system installed at the time. There were no injuries reported but the damage was estimated at $10 million.
Among them is the Empire State Building, New York's most iconic tower and for a long time one of the city's tallest structures. It's composed of 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone from Bloomington's Empire Quarry. The quarry was built in 1872 by the Van Sweringen Brothers construction company as part of a private estate called "Bloomingdale". The quarry was later sold to another firm that operated it until it closed in 1969 when part of the site was converted into a public park called "Empire State Plaza".
The first skyscrapers were made out of steel and they looked different from what we know today as skyscrapers. The Empire State Building is an example of this early style called "the art deco movement". It was designed by William van der Steen Jr. and Louis Kantor and it opened in 1931.
Limestone is used instead today because it's more durable and it doesn't absorb heat like concrete does. Concrete starts to break down at around 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) while limestone can withstand temperatures up to 1,100 degrees Celsius (1,982 degrees Fahrenheit).
The process of turning rock into stone has not changed much over time. Limestone remains abundant in North America and many other parts of the world. It usually occurs in thin layers between 100 and 500 meters below the surface.
The Empire State Building, one of the tallest and most spectacular structures in the United States, is made primarily of Indiana limestone. The main building has 998 square feet of floor space while the 12th floor observatory has 70 square feet of window area.
In addition to its size, the Empire State Building has three other notable characteristics: it is constructed entirely of concrete; it uses no wood in its construction; and it has two levels of basement parking below street level.
The Empire State Building was designed by William Van Alen and opened for business on January 1, 1931. It was the world's first skyscraper to be built from reinforced concrete with vertical bars as a frame, metal beams as columns, and horizontal cross-beams. The original design called for air conditioning but this feature was not installed until 1940 when it was paid for by Alfred E. Smith, then the New York governor.
When it was completed, the Empire State Building was the world's largest office building. Its height is also greater than that of the next largest building, the Chrysler Building, by 4 floors. The Empire State Building was originally painted white but this was changed after World War II when it became known as "the grayest building in America".