The most famous building in a city famous for its buildings, the Empire State Building is a quintessential symbol of New York and has become an icon to the world. The Empire State Building is a 102-story art deco skyscraper located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street in New York City. It stood as the world's tallest building for more than forty years, from its completion in 1931, until the World Trade Center's North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building is once again the tallest building in New York, and is the third tallest building in the America's surpassed only by the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower and the Trump International Hotel and Tower, both of which are located in Chicago.
The Empire State Building was selected in 1955 by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven greatest engineering achievements in America's history, and has been billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. In 1981, it was designated as a New York City landmark fulfilling all of the qualifications for designation - it has special historical, cultural and aesthetic value, and is an important part of New York's historical and architectural heritage. In 1986, it was also designated as a National Historic Landmark, and in 2007, it ranked number one on the List of America's Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.
The Empire State Building has appeared in about ninety movies, undoubtedly the most famous being King Kong. After scaling the building with his blonde love interest, King Kong is shot off the side of the building by a squadron of combat planes, but not before he gently places the hysterically screaming blonde on the rooftop platform.
Who made the first graphic depiction of the Empire State Building depends on who's telling the story, but either John Jacob Raskob (the buildings developer) or William Lamb (architect) pulled out a big pencil and held it skyward. That, it was decided, was the way the Empire State building should look. The architects were given a year and nine months in which to design the building and oversee its construction. This was a monumental task given the scope of the project but was achieved with the intense cooperation of the owners, architects, general contractor and the availability of qualified labor.