Located in Midtown East/Grand Central on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, the Empire State Building is a popular tourist attraction and New York icon that can be seen from many places throughout the city. Creating part of this famous skyline, the Empire State Building has appeared in many television shows and films, the most notable of which is King Kong, where the title character climbs the building under a blaze of gunfire.
Offering some of the best views in the whole of New York City, the Empire State Building allows you to rise above the skyscrapers to the see the city from a unique vantage point offering a perspective like nothing else. Measuring a whopping 1,454 feet from the ground floor to the tip of the building's lightning rod, it's no surprise that this feat of modern engineering was once the tallest building in the world. Now, the Empire State Building offers 360 degree views of the city from the open-air and enclosed terraces of its 86th and 102nd floor observation decks.
Beginning with a race to the sky that challenged the Eiffel Tower, Woolworth Building, Bank of Manhattan Building and twentieth century man's ability to achieve what seemed impossible, the Empire State Building was to be in direct competition with the Chrysler Building that was already under construction. John Jakob Raskob employed the services of builders Starrett Bros. & Eken to begin construction of what he hoped would be the tallest building in the world.
Amazingly, the Empire State Building was completed in just 1 year and 45 days and was officially opened by President J. Edgar Hoover who pressed a button in Washington, D.C. that light the top of the building with its trademark white lights. John Jakob Raskob had achieved his dream of building the world's tallest building, a title which the Empire State Building kept for 41 years until the World Trade Centre was built in 1972.
To access the Empire State Building you'll require a ticket which can be purchased in advance or onsite as well as clearing a security check. All visitors to the building enjoy access to the 86th floor observatory however for an additional fee visitors can enjoy audio tours, go a further 200 feet up to the 102nd floor fully enclosed observatory or benefit from the express option which allows you to the head of the (often long) lines for security screening and the elevators, saving you time.