A couple of years ago we visited New York City for the first time and it was amazing. I absolutely fell in love with the city. One of the best days in New York was spent running around Midtown with Karen, one of the customers of the company I worked at until 2009. It was a blast, and we couldn’t have had a better today.
However, nothing compared to the phenomenal views atop the Empire State Building. The only thing that even comes close to this would be the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It was definitely an experience. I will share our visit in a moment, but I would like to tell you a little about the building itself first.
Located on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets, it is right in the middle of midtown. It is 102-stories high, has a roof height of 1,250 feet and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet. The Empire State Building is currently the fifth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States and the 29th-tallest in the world. It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. When measured by pinnacle height, it is the fourth-tallest building in the United States.
Opened on May 1, 1931, this iconic building is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. As you might imagine, the building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of EstimateIt was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the AIA's List of America's Favorite Architecture.
As with many other iconic building, the Empire State Building has been in many movies through the years. The first time it appeared in a movie was in 1933. You may have heard of a little movie called King Kong, lol. It was also highlighted in Love Affair (1939), An Affair to Remember(1957), Sleepless in Seattle(1993), Fail-Safe(1964), The Producers(1968), The Time Machine(2002), Independence Day(1996), Knowing(2009), as well as many others.
The day we decided to go turned out to be one of the best days that week. Like I said the views were phenomenal. However, I felt like we were in a movie, as it was quite a production to get to the Observation Deck. First we had to line up in the lobby to take an escalator up to another level called the Visitor’s Center where everyone got in line to see if you had prepaid or not. If you did great, you moved on, if not you got in another line to buy your tickets. We went and got our tickets, . After getting scrutinized by security, we got in another line to get what they call a multi-media handheld device. It was cool and kept us entertained while we waited in yet another line to go up to the 80th floor.
On this level, which they call the Dare to Dream Exhibit, they have some documents including period photographs, architectural sketches, construction notes, and daily bookkeeping documents, as well as reproductions of photos and mementos from the more than 3,400 workers who helped create history. It is quite interesting and we had fun walking around.
However, our journey to the top was not over yet! Yikes, We had to take one more elevator to get to the Main Desk on the 86th Floor, If we had paid to go to the 102nd floor, that would have been another elevator. Like I said it was quite a production. Took us about 45 mins (minus the time walking around the Dare to Dream Exhibit) to finally get outside to see the incredible views. It was a little tiring and frustrating, but it was oh so worth it. The views of the city from up there were spectacular!
As you can see from our picture below, it was quite cold and quite windy up there, but it was a nice and sunny on the south side. Of course, that was where everyone was, because it also had the some of the best views. We walked around all four sides trying to pick out buildings we recognized and even found the Andaz Hotel where we were staying. I just kept thinking how different the city looked from that high up. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip and will always remember our first experience at the Empire State Building. Here is a link to their site. Hope to visit again on our visit next year!