Empire State Building facts – trivia for adults and kids

Empire State Building facts

A trip to New York City will be incomplete if you don’t visit Empire State Building located in the heart of Manhattan, New York.

Empire State Building offers amazing views of the city of New York from its observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors.

You can experience its magic any day as it is open all days of the year from 8 am to 2 am.

More than 3.5 Million people visit Empire State Building every year.

Check some of the best Empire State Building facts –

1. ESB has been featured in many movies

Ever since the Empire State Building was inaugurated (1931), it has been a very popular destination for Hollywood movies.

The most popular culture representation of this building was in King Kong (1933) in which the lead character, climbs to the top of the building.

For this film’s 15th anniversary, a huge 90-foot tall inflatable King Kong was placed on the building mast above the observation deck by the artist Robert Vicino.

Hollywood has featured the ESB in more than 250 movies till date.

Some remarkably celebrated Empire State Building moments can be witnessed in “An Affair to Remember,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Elf,” and “Oblivion” etc.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ also climbed to the top of Empire State Building.

2. Many celebrities have enjoyed ESB’s city view

The Empire State Building has proudly rolled out the red carpet to numerous famous visitors.

The Empire State Building’s website showcases them all.

You can search up the name of the celebrity of your wish and most probably you will find them posing for the camera on the observation deck.

You can expect the pictures of superstars from over, different fields and nations. Check it out

Some eminent personalities who have been to ESB are Emma Watson, Ariana Grande, Bear Grylls, Cast of “The Simpsons”, Freida Pinto, Hilary Duff etc.

This building is also the office space for some of the finest brands out there. Some extremely famous tenants of ESB are LinkedIn, Shutterstock, Bulova, HNTB, Media General Digital, Global Brands Group, Skanska etc.

3. Empire State Building was built really fast

The construction of the ESB started in 1930 and it was constructed at a lightning fast speed of 13 months, the framework rose four and a half stories per week.

It was inaugurated forty-five days ahead of its projected opening date.

Empire State Building is made up of 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana Limestone.

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4. A hotel was demolished to build Empire State Building

The land on which this building now stands was actually farming land under John Thompson (18th century).

In the 1890s a hotel called Waldorf Astoria was constructed on this land.

After 30+ years – in 1929 – this hotel was demolished and in its place, the Empire State Building was built.

Must Read: Find out everything you need to know about Empire State Building tickets.

5. Two buildings inspired the design of ESB

This huge Art Deco skyscraper was constructed under the direction of architects Shreve, Lamb and Harmon Associates.

Its design was inspired by two Art Deco buildings – Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Carew Tower in Cincinnati.

Today, these buildings are referred to as Empire State’s architectural ancestors.

6. Empire State Building was to have a mooring mast

Empire State Building’s upper tower was originally designed as a mooring mast for airships.

Sadly, this purpose failed since the high winds near the building’s rooftop made it impossible for pilots to negotiate.

Note: A mooring mast, or mooring tower, is a structure designed to allow for the docking of an airship outside of an airship hangar or similar structure. More


7. Once it was also known as Empty State Building

The Empire State Building’s inauguration coincided with the Great Depression in the United States.

With everybody playing it safe, much of the office space in Empire State Building was empty.

Therefore, the New Yorkers had nicknamed it the ‘Empty State Building.

In fact, the Empire State Building started becoming profitable only in the 1950s.

8. B-25 Bomber once crashed into this building

In 1945 a B-25 Mitchell Bomber crashed into the 79th floor of ESB.

In the heavy fog, the pilot had not seen the building.

Three crew members and 11 people working in the building were killed in the accident.

The building didn’t suffer much damage.

9. ESB has an important extension on the top

As the Broadcasting revolution was happening, in 1950 a 222 feet antenna tower was erected on top of Empire State Building.

This allowed the region’s television stations to broadcast from the building.

10. Empire State Building was once the tallest in the World

When Empire State Building was constructed Chrysler Building used to be the tallest building in the World.

After its construction, the ESB was the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years.

However, the first World Trade Center tower was built in 1970 with a height of 417 meters (1,368 ft) thus surpassing the height of ESB at 381 meters (1,250 ft).

11. Weddings happen at Empire State Building

Since 1994, on February 14, Valentine’s Day weddings have been taking place at ESB.

More than 250 couples have exchanged their wedding vows here ever since the practice began.

This annually broadcasted event is covered by news outlets from all around the world.

There is a contest held to select the prospective couples every year.

The couples who get married here, get one free pass to the ESB each year on 14th February i.e. their wedding anniversary.

12. Empire State Building has its own zip code

Yes, you read it right. The Empire State Building is so large that, it has been designated its own zip code: 10118.

In fact, now there are 43 other buildings in New York City that have their own ZIP Codes.

13. Facts about Empire State Building’s lobby

You can have an immersive experience inside this world famous, magnificent landmark.

Its aesthetic three-storey high lobby runs parallel to 33rd and 34th Streets.

It contains storefronts on both its Northern and Southern sides.

The major highlights of the lobby include the Art Deco ceiling murals inspired by, both the sky and the Machine Age made in 24-karat Gold and Aluminum leaf which are installed in the lobby ceilings.

One of the most remarkable images of New York City hangs on the wall right above the front desk in the Fifth Avenue lobby.

It is a depiction of the building itself with numerous beams of lights radiating from its mast.

There are sensational restaurants located in the building’s main lobby.

14. History of lights of the Empire State Building

As of today, ESB has thousands of programmable LED lights which are used to observe and celebrate important events and holidays.

In the beginning, the building had white searchlights at its top which were replaced by four large beacon lights called the “Freedom Lights” in 1956.

In 1964, the beacons were swapped by Floodlights to illuminate the top of the building in the honor of the New York World’s Fair.

The tower lights were temporarily, shut off in November 1973 due to the energy crisis at the time and were turned on again in July 1974.

In 1976 colored floodlights were installed to light up the tower in red, white and blue.

ESB’s lights were dimmed for 15 minutes to mark the death of actress Fay Wray, the female lead of King Kong (1933).

In 2012, Empire State Building got its new LED lighting system which can display 16 million distinct colors.

The ESB accepts tower lighting requests through their official website.

There is a full lighting calendar through the means of which you can see “the lights tonight”.

Must see: 13 photographs of animals projected on Empire State Building


Popular attractions in New York
# Empire State Building
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# Metropolitan Museum of Art
# One World Observatory
# Top of the Rock
# 9/11 Memorial and Museum
# Museum of Modern Art
# Intrepid Museum
# Guggenheim Museum
# BlueMan Group NYC
# Spirit of New York Dinner Cruise

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