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Wonders of the World - Empire State Building
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building in New York City is known the world over for its history, architecture, and status as a symbol of American industry, and is a wildly popular aspect of New York tourism. With construction beginning in 1930, the Empire State Building was built in the Art Deco style of that period by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, and it opened its doors on May 1, 1931. It took over the title as “world’s tallest building” from the Chrysler Building, and quickly became a focal point of New York tourism. At 1,453 feet, today it stands behind Chicago’s Sears Tower as the country’s tallest building, and falls in line as ninth of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, and seems to find its way into most all New York travel itineraries.

The Empire State Building is a focal point of both New York travel and New York tourism. It opens its Observatory doors 365 days a year, day and night and rain or shine, so that visitors may take in some of the most stunning cityscape views to be had anywhere. Visitors are whisked up 86 floors in a high-speed elevator, and can take part in an Empire State Building audio tour, or just create their own self-guided trip around the Observatory. Refreshments are available at various building restaurants and coffee shops, and there is an Empire State Building art exhibit located in the lobby.

The Empire State Building has been featured in popular culture and movies throughout the years, most notably in the original King Kong, where the giant ape was shown clinging to the top and spire of the building. Fascinating Empire State Building facts and trivia abound. In 1945 at the end of World War II, an Army Air Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber plane crashed into the 79th floor of the building in dense fog, and, from its very beginning up through today, The Empire State Building has acted as an "Ambassador to New York" to many of the world's best-known political and entertainment figures, such as Fidel Castro, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, The Duchess of York, Nikita Krushchev, and the King of Siam. Among the more intriguing Empire State Building facts is that the original intent of the building was that it was to be used as a mooring mast and depot for zeppelins. That proved both impractical and dangerous due to the sizable updraft from the building itself.

The Empire State Building also features in many films, but the film that made it even more famous then it already was, was the classic King Kong in 1933. Even today, though the building has been stripped from its title of the world's tallest building, it is a symbol of New York itself visited by 2 million people each year.

At the time it was built on Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building broke all records and was dubbed 'the 8th world wonder'. The building had 64 elevators (now 73) and was constructed in only 1 year and 45 days. It was one of the last skyscrapers built before the Great Depression hit the real estate market. It towered over the neighborhood and its height of 381 meter (1250 ft) wouldn't be topped until 1972, when the twin World Trade Towers eclipsed the Empire State Building.
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