Empire State Building, New York City

There is not a more quintessential New York landmark than the Empire State Building. Rising 102 stories or 1,250 feet (381 meters) above midtown, this Art Deco skyscraper illuminates the city as colorful as its changing lights, and is absolutely central to the New York skyline. It had stood as the city’s tallest building since its completion in 1931 for 40 years, and has now assumed that role once again after the destruction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.  It is currently the third tallest skyscraper in the United States and the 15th tallest in the world!


Perhaps my favorite part of the building are the floodlights illuminating the tower. Added in 1964, they may change on a daily basis from a default color of white to a maximum of three colors to match a holiday or an event. The colors of the building is the first thing I notice when driving into the city at night. The schedule for the tower lights may be found here.


A little bit of history:
The Empire State Building was originally designed in a mere two weeks by William F. Lamb from the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. Construction on this architectural jewel located at West 34th Street and Fifth Avenue was undertaken by mostly European immigrants on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 1930 – and completed on May 1, 1931. Although it was the first building to have more than 100 floors, its opening coincided with the Great Depression and much of the office space first went unrented.


Surprising facts:

– The building’s Art Deco spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles, an idea which was abandoned due to safety concerns.
– On July 28, 1945, a B-25 Mitchell bomber, piloted in thick fog by Lieutenant Colonel William Franklin Smith, Jr.,crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building, between the 79th and 80th floors, with 14 people dying as a result of the impact and ensuing fire.


All images are ©2011 Alexander Filatov Photography. All rights reserved.

  • Nice collection of the ESB. definitely a nice representation of the city’s iconic image. Love the different angles and time of day. All good whether it’s day, night or sunset shot. Great job alex

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