The Construction of New York's Empire State Building Essay

1563 Words 7 Pages
Since it was built, the Empire State Building has been attracting millions of tourists every year. This building is not only a national landmark and icon of New York City but a symbol of man’s attempt to achieve the impossible. The skyscraper is also the star in many movies such as An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle and King Kong. It stands out among the city’s skyline so people arriving by air, sea, or land can always pick out its distinctive shape (Britton 4). The Empire State Building is considered one of the eight wonders of the world and the people, the purpose, the construction, and the difficulties that went along with this wonder all started with a race to the sky.

First, the Empire State Building’s design
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For whe“When the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 in Paris it, in a way, taunted American architects to build something taller. By the early twentieth century a skyscraper race was on” (Rosenberg 1). Smith and Raskob teamed up and were racing against Walter Chrysler (founder of the Chrysler Corporation) to build the tallest building. Being the envy of the city was not the only purpose of building such a fantastic building, but there was also a practical reason. Tenants were willing to pay higher rents in tall buildings. So, the owner of the tallest building collected the highest rents and became even wealthier (Mann 12). Consequently, the next step was to find a location for the building. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel had an excellent location at a busy intersection on Fifth Avenue (Britton 14). This hotel used to be very popular but since styles had changed, the people who owned the building wanted it to move to a different location and build a newer and better looking hotel. The new location was served by public transportation, shops, museums, and entertainment. In 1928, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was sold to Bethlehem Engineering Corporation. John Raskob and Alfred Smith bought the site when the sale fell through (Britton 7). They wanted to start construction on the Empire State Building immediately but had to demolish the hotel first.

With this new open land, the planning could commence. The architects for the Empire State
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