Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Eighty years of the Empire State Building

Opened on May 1, 1931, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York between 1931 and 1972 (and has been again since 2001), and has become an icon of the New York skyline. It is the site of an invitation-only race, the Empire State Building Run-Up--an event that draws world-class competitors from all over the world, including, in 2010, the blind runner Suleiman Rifai.

The building is also an important site for broadcasting antennas: it was the site of the first high-definition telecast in 1936, and the first mobile telvision unit for broadcasting outdoor events relayed its broadcasts from here in December 1937. According to articles in Omnifile, the Empire State is also an unusual spot to view migrating birds, and a commercial building that comes with a set of challenges and opportunities unique to the world's most iconic buildings.

How, for example, can millions of tourists be safely guided around the building with the minimum of disruption to the tenants? Who needs to be consulted when restoration work is undertaken? Articles discussing all these issues and more can be found in Omnifile Full Text Mega, with citations to many more articles available in Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals.

The image of men working on the building comes from Art Museum Image Gallery, and some of the other information in this post comes from Famous First Facts.


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