Construction of the Empire State Building began in March of 1930 on
the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 350 Fifth Avenue at
34th Street. It was completed 14 months later in May, 1931.
Designed by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon
Associates, the Empire State Building, at 102 stories, was the
tallest building in the world until the completion of the first tower
of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan in 1972.
350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, New
York, NY 10001
Architects: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates.
Builders: Starrett Brothers & Eken, Inc.
Height: 1,472 feet (448 meters) to top of antennae. 1,250 feet (391 meters)
to 102nd floor observatory. 1,050 feet (320 meters) to 86th floor observatory.
Volume: 37 million cubic feet.
Area of Site: 83,860 square feet.
Cost including land: $40,948,900.
Cost of building alone: $24,718,000 (expected cost of $50 million
did not materialize due to the Great Depression)
Excavation: Begun January 22, 1930, before demolition of old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel completed.
Construction: Begun March 17, 1930. Framework rose at the rate of 4.5 stories per week.
Cornerstone: Laid by Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York, September 17, 1930.
Masonry completed: November 13, 1930.
Official opening: May 1, 1931, by President Herbert Hoover, who pressed a button in Washington, D.C. to turn on the building's lights.
Total time: 7 million man hours, 1 year and 45 days work, including Sundays and holidays.
Work Force: 3,400 during peak periods.
Exterior: Indiana limestone and granite, trimmed with aluminum and chrome-nickel steel from the 6th floor to the top.
Interior lobby: Ceiling high marble, imported from France, Italy, Belgium and Germany.
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