The Inspiring History of the Iconic Empire State Building

Ryan Socash of It’s History takes a deep dive into the inspiring history of the iconic Empire State Building in New York City, noting how it now stands in the place of what was the world’s largest hotel, The Waldorf-Astoria, which was demolished in 1929.

For nearly half a  century this grand Art Deco tower held the title of the tallest man-made object on earth soaring above New York’s existing skyscrapers … A plot of land seemed destined for legends. I mean, consider how unusual that is the world’s  biggest hotel would be replaced by the world’s  tallest building

Waldorf Astoria on 33rd Street and 5th Avenue

Socash further explains how the Empire State Building would soon battle with the equally iconic Chrysler Building in being named the tallest skyscraper in the world.

This project  would become engulfed in competition. Competition unlike anything New York City had seen before…While the empire state building’s construction  was still in the works others were competing for the title of the tallest building in the world the  main competitors included  40 wall street… and the Chrysler Building. These guys all had their eyes on the prize. 

Not only was the Empire State Building competing to be the tallest, but architects also considered building a blimp docking station. This idea, however, was short-lived due to the extreme height of the building, shifting air currents at such heights, and the danger it would pose to the busy city streets below. Additionally, it was illegal to tether aircraft in urban areas.

There was already a law in place that expressly forbid airship from flying too low  over urban areas due to similar safety concerns. …That being said two aircraft did attempt to  tether to the Empire State Building before. the idea was finally dropped for good during  the first attempt the forceful and incredibly  treacherous winds made it impossible to reach the  peak of the building safely.

Needless to say, the idea was abandoned. Instead, the docking station was turned into the famous Empire State Building Observatory. And while the building’s grand opening was auspicious at best, it did recover to become one of the most sought-after destinations in the world.

The story of the Empire State Building is incredibly inspiring. A tale of not only survival but success. Despite its bleak opening, it was declared a symbol of vision and faith …not only to New York citizens but all Americans and the world alike. There are few doubts that this Art Deco masterpiece will continue to stand  tall no matter what is to come and well it may no longer be the tallest building in the world is the most beloved.

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