This structure became not simply a landmark of New York City, but also a symbol of twentieth-century man's quest to attain the impossible. When the Eiffel Tower (984 feet) was completed in Paris in 1889, it challenged American architects to design something even taller. A skyscraper race had begun by the early twentieth century. The Empire State Building is now recognized as one of the classics of the genre. It was designed by William Van Alen and opened for business on January 1, 1931.
The building is an architectural icon today not only because it is the tallest structure in New York, but also because it represents the ambition and ingenuity of Americans up until the late 20th century. It is estimated that the construction cost $25 million ($300 million in 2016 dollars). At the time, this was more than any other skyscraper in America. In fact, it was so expensive that some critics said it couldn't be done. However, under the leadership of Van Alen and his team, they succeeded in designing and building a masterpiece.
Inside the building, you can visit three distinct levels. On the first floor, there are shops and restaurants that feature views of Manhattan's skyline. Visitors will also find an art gallery, a theater, a music hall, and many others. The second floor is where most of the offices are located. They offer views of both the city and the surrounding countryside. The top floor contains luxury apartments with wraparound windows offering panoramic views of New York City.
His biggest rival was Walter Chrysler, who was also seeking to construct the world's largest skyscraper in New York City at the same time. The completion of the Eiffel Tower by the French in 1889, at 984 feet, inspired American architects to compete in the construction of the world's highest building. The Chrysler Building was completed in 1929 to replace an earlier structure that had been destroyed by fire.
Chrysler wanted to show his support for his company by constructing a building that would be admired by everyone. His wife even helped with some design decisions for the building's interior. She chose the gold and white color scheme used in their home and insisted on including a garden atop the building as a tribute to her native France.
The building is famous for its sculptor, Diego Rivera. He designed the main entrance mural which depicts the history of technology from the ancient world to modern times. This allowed people to enter the building while learning about contemporary issues at the same time.
Another reason for building the tower was to provide cheaper housing. At the time, most buildings in New York City was only ten stories high, so anyone wanting to get away from it all had to stay in hotels or rent rooms in existing buildings. The Chrysler Building was the first skyscraper to offer affordable apartment homes. It was also the first building to have an indoor swimming pool, which was very popular among New York City residents at the time.
People all across the globe have aspired to possess the Eiffel Tower since it was erected. More than four decades would pass until the Tower was dethroned by the Chrysler Building in New York (319 m), which was surpassed in 1949 by the Empire State Building (381 m).
In terms of area, the Empire State Building is the largest building in New York City. It was also the first skyscraper to be built here after World War II. The Chrysler Building is second with less than half its size. The third place goes to One World Trade Center at about one-third the size of the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is still the highest point in New York City. It was built in 1931-32 and opened for business on January 1, 1933. The top of the tower is at 102nd floor level and offers a view that stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction. By contrast, the Eiffel Tower's highest point is only 109 meters above ground level.
They are two very different structures but they share something important in common: both were designed by French architects. The Empire State Building was designed by William Van Alen and James W. Curley while the Eiffel Tower was created by Gustave Eiffel himself.