Lewis Wickes Hine: The Construction of the Empire State Building, 1930-1931
Courtesy of The New York Public Library. the Library is cool! So is the empire state building. What's not to like?
Architects: Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates.
Builders: Starrett Brothers & Eken, Inc.
Managing Agents: Helmsley Spear, Inc.
Height: 1,472 feet (448 meters) to top of antennae. 1,250 feet (391 meters) to 102nd floor observatory. 1,050 feet (320 meters) to 86th floor observatory.
Volume: 37 million cubic feet.
Area of Site: 83,860 square feet.
Cost including land: $40,948,900.
Cost of building alone: $24,718,000 (expected cost of $50 million did not materialize due to the Great Depression)
Excavation: Begun January 22, 1930, before demolition of old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel completed.
Construction: Begun March 17, 1930. Framework rose at the rate of 4 1/2 stories per week.
Cornerstone:Laid by Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York, September 17, 1930.
Masonry completed: November 13, 1930.
Official opening: May 1, 1931, by President Herbert Hoover, who pressed a button in Washington, D.C. to turn on the building's lights.
Total time: 7 million man hours, 1 year and 45 days work, including Sundays and holidays.
Work Force: 3,400 during peak periods.
Exterior: Indiana limestone and granite, trimmed with aluminum and chrome-nickel steel from the 6th floor to the top.
Interior lobby: Ceiling high marble, imported from France, Italy, Belgium and Germany.