Construction Of The Empire State Building

3662 Words15 Pages
The One and Only Empire State Building

Construction on The Empire State Building began on October 1, 1929 just a few weeks before the biggest stock market crash in United States history. On September 9, 1930, Al Smith the former Governor of New York, marked the spot of the cornerstone of what would become the worlds tallest and the century’s best building. That day Smith gave a speech to a crowd of over five thousand, which included mostly workers in hopes of a job on the upcoming project. The Empire State Building opened its doors just eight months later on Friday, May 1, 1931. For a country in midst of a great depression The Empire State Building was a symbol of hope in dark times and showed that Americans would persevere even in a
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Raskob was a college dropout and a self-made man who worked his way up through the ranks of General Motors Company. Before The Empire State Building was erected there were a few hoops that needed jumping through. Originally a prominent New York Family, the Astors, owned the plot of land where the Empire State would be built. In 1893, William Waldorf Astor used his part of his land to construct an upscale hotel known as Waldorf Hotel on 5th and 33rd Street. Later to outdo her nephew Caroline Astor erected a hotel at the other end of the block known as the Hotel Astor. The two hotels eventually joined to create one mega hotel which would be renamed The Waldorf-Astoria. The Waldorf-Astoria would remain a prominent luxury hotel until the 1920s until moving uptown.
The empty building now became available for commercial development and many investors were anxious about the opportunity. A group of big money investors came together and decided they wanted to build big as well. According to George H. Douglas, a historian and author Skyscrapers: A Social History, they included, “ Louis G. Kaufman; Ellis P. Earle; John J. Raskob, chairman of the Finance Committee of General Motors; and Pierre S. du Pont, chairman of the board of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and
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