Empire State Building
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Location: New York, New York, USA
Completion Date: 1931
Cost: $41 million
Height: 1,250 feet
Facing Materials: Limestone, granite, brick
Engineer(s): H.G. Balcom
Built during the Depression between 1930 and 1931, the Empire State Building became the world's tallest office building -- surpassing the Chrysler Building by a whopping 204 feet. The design of the building changed 16 times during planning and construction, but 3,000 workers completed the building's construction in record time: one year and 45 days, including Sundays and holidays. The Empire State Building is composed of 60,000 tons of steel, 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite, 10 million bricks, and 730 tons of aluminum and stainless steel.
Steel columns and beams form a stable 3-D grid throughout the entire structure. But since such closely spaced column grids obstruct open spaces in buildings, there are virtually no open spans, or column-free spaces, on each floor of the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building remained the tallest building in the world for 41 years. In 1972, the World Trade Center claimed this distinction. Today, despite being surpassed in height by six other towers, the Empire State Building remains an internationally known landmark and arguably the most famous building ever constructed.
Here's how this skyscraper stacks up against the biggest skyscrapers in the world.
(height, in feet)