You know when you’re in New York City when you see the magnificent skyline of the many towering skyscrapers, and then that of the Empire State Building. The building is a 102 story tower that is a staple of New York City. It has been in countless movies, and for a good reason as the views of the city from its observation decks is unbelievable. The name comes from New York’s nickname, which is the Empire State. It is the fifth-tallest skyscraper in the U.S. and the 29th tallest in the entire world. The building is considered an American cultural icon, and many U.S. citizens have either seen it or at least have heard of it. Try the observation decks to see the grand city, or admire the beautiful building and its amazing antenna spire resting at the peak of the building, from ground level.

History and Design

William Lamb designed the Empire State Building and had the plans ready in two weeks. Using designs from the Reynolds Tower and the Carew Tower in other states, the Empire State Building was quickly and easily designed and construction was soon up and running. Every year the Empire State Building’s staff send the staff of the Reynold’s Building, located in North Carolina, Father’s Day cards, as Reynold’s Building is a “father” of sorts to the Empire State Building because the drawing was derived from the Reynolds to create the building in New York. Construction was completed, and a grand opening was held in 1931 with President Herbert Hoover in attendance.



Due to the size and height of the towering structure, the building has not been without its incidents. The height has made it vulnerable to plane issues such as narrow-misses, and actual crashes. In 1945 a B-25 Mitchell bomber was having difficulty in the thick fog surrounding the city and crashed into the building between the 79th and 80th floors. One of the engines ended up on the roof of the building next door while the other engine and landing gear fell down an elevator shaft. Fourteen people were killed, and fires were ignited and extinguished in this incident. Suicides are also an issue with the building. Apparently, due to its staggering height, people come to fling themselves off the building, knowing the fall would be successful in accomplishing their final mission.

How many floors does the empire state building have?

The interior of the lobby as you walk in the Empire State Building is beautiful. It contains over 100 floors, 73 elevators, and over 6,000 windows in the building. 20,000 plus people work in the building each day, as many of it is office spaces and businesses. The lobby and the observation deck are the most popular features, and the lobby is three stories tall with beautiful tile and stonework. It can be seen in the movie “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell as well. The ceilings in the lobby are reproductions of wonderful murals originally designed by Leif Neandross during one of the renovations. The gift shop was moved to the 80th floor, closer to the observation deck, and millions were spent making the elderly building more energy efficient and eco-friendly.

Lobby Empire State Building

The Observation Decks

The most popular reason that locals and visitors visit the Empire State Building is to visit the observation decks to see the best views you will find of one of the largest cities in the United States. It is so popular that over 100 million people have visited, making it one of the best in the world. There are decks on the 102nd floor, the 86th floor, with the 86th-floor deck offering 360-degree views. Be prepared to stand in line, for with such an amazing vantage point come lines and tickets. The building makes more off selling tickets to its observation decks than it does rent office space, just to give you an idea. Tickets currently run 32-dollars for adults for the 86th-floor deck or both decks for 52 dollars. Children and seniors are less expensive, and if you pay 85 dollars per person, you can see both decks and skip to the front of the line. Don’t forget your camera to capture some of the best photographs you will ever take. The observation decks also have been the highlight of many television as well as literary creations. The move “Sleepless in Seattle,” an episode of “I Love Lucy,” and the book “An Affair to Remember,” have all had the famous building and its observation decks in them, just to name a few.


The Amazing Lights

Floodlights were added in the 1960’s, to illuminate the top of the building and the spire that protrudes proudly from one of the tallest buildings in the U.S.
The spire has been lit with colors to coordinate with holidays, birthdays of famous people, deaths of famous people, red, white, and blue, for the several months following the September 11th attacks, and many other colors displaying thanks to other countries and support of sports teams. The lights can be seen from almost anywhere, as the building is so tall, letting people know what it is supporting, and in a way, uniting all those who can see the lights in a standard agreement for whatever they may be shining for.


Heart of New York

Built during the Great Depression, the Empire State Building still stands proudly, representing a towering structure that has lasted through the decades. It now shines its light s proudly for all to see, uniting the biggest city in the U.S. and offering visitors an astounding display from the top floors of the building that is known as “the heart of New York.”


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