The Empire State Building Opens
May 1, 1931
you have ever seen the movie "King Kong," you may remember the building
that the giant ape climbs. The Empire State Building officially opened
on May 1, 1931. President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in Washington,
D.C., and on came the lights in the world's tallest skyscraper. Before
that, the Chrysler Building briefly held the record at 1046 feet. Now,
the tallest building in the United States is the 1,776 foot One World
Trade Center in New York City.
Standing proud on the corner of
Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in New York City, the Empire State Building
has 102 stories and reaches a height of 1,454 feet. Motivated by a
competition between the leaders of Chrysler and General Motors, John
Jacob Raskob of General Motors and Alfred E. Smith, a former governor of
New York, formed a corporation to finance the building. Construction
started in 1930. The steel framework of the Empire State Building rose
to the sky at an incredible rate of 4 and 1/2 stories per week. The
building's construction was completed in a phenomenal one year and
forty-five days! The mast on top, now a TV tower, was originally a
mooring for dirigibles, or airships, which in the 1930s were considered
to be the future of air travel.
Have you or members of your
family visited the Empire State Building? What is the tallest
building you have ever been to the top of? What did you see?