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
Architects: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates.
Builders: Starrett Brothers & Eken, Inc.
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
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
Interior lobby: Ceiling high marble, imported
from France, Italy, Belgium and Germany.