Monday, 28 December 2009

Three Favorite Buildings

1. The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscaper in New York City. Built in the midst of the Depression, it was, and still remains a testament to American fortitude and ingenuity.

The construction on the building itself started on March 17, 1931. It took 410 days to complete, a month and a half ahead of schedule (i.e. May 1st. 1931) and about $5 million under budget. At the time it was the largest commercial venture and investment ever undertaken The Empire Building cost $40,948,900.

The Empire State Building was the first building to have more than 100 floors. It has more than 70 elevators and there are 1,860 steps from street level to the 103rd floor. The building houses 1,000 businesses, , making the Empire State Building the second-largest single office complex in America, after The Pentagon. Its original 64 elevators are located in a central core; today, the Empire State Building has 73 elevators in all, including service elevators. It takes less than one minute by elevator to get to the 86th floor, where an observation deck is located. The exterior of the building is composed of more than 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone panels and granite

The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, along with hundreds of Mohawk iron workers, many from the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal. The labourers (sky boys as they were called), walked up and down the structure as it was put together. Their job was to fix the separate sections together, often using large nuts and bolts. The work was dangerous, although not one sky boy was killed during the construction.

    The longest world record held by the Empire State Building was for the tallest skyscraper (to structural height), which it held for 42 years until it was surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 1973. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in the September 11, 2001 attacks the Empire State Building again became the tallest building in New York City

    An international icon, it has been visited by more than 117 million people, who come to marvel at the 80-mile view into surronding states

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