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Empire State Building - New York

View of the Empire State Building from the Hudson river with the tree lined shore of Manhattan Island in the foreground.
The Empire State Building from the Hudson River

Once the tallest building in the world, for an impressive 39 years, this is without doubt one of the most famous buildings in the world. The one hundred and two storey Art Deco skyscraper was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon and is over 443 meters tall to the tip of its antenna.

Art Deco style image of the Empire State Building constructed from aluminium in the building’s lobby.
The Lobby of the Empire State Building

When we visited, we entered via the main lobby on fifth avenue, but in 2018 this was changed so you now enter via a new guest entrance on 34th Street - the lobby is now the final part of the experience. Its interior design includes Art Deco ceiling murals depicting the mechanical age, with planets and stars forming an assembly line of gears. Marble walls and a floor laid with terrazzo tiles in a zigzag pattern lead to one of New York's most photographed objects, a depiction of the Empire State building in aluminium with beams of light radiating from its mast.

The elevators doors feature an Art Deco geometric design depicting the iconic setback architecture of the tower, while the marble interiors include elegant stencils of the building. In 2011 the Otis Elevator company upgraded all sixty-eight elevators to improve speed, efficiency and the visitor experience.

The Chrysler building with its Art Deco architecture in the foreground and the Queensboro bridge and East River behind.
View of the Chrysler Building from the Empire State Building

Once at the top you’re treated to fantastic views across Manhattan island and beyond including the previous tallest building in the world and another world-famous Art Deco gem, the Chrysler Building. We were fortunate enough to visit on a clear but slightly hazy day when it wasn’t too busy, so we really got to enjoy the amazing views from all sides. If it’s your first visit to New York then a trip to the top of the Empire State building really is a must, especially for fans of the Art Deco style.

View down to street level from the observation deck of the Empire State Building, includes the roofs of various tall buildings.
View down to street level from the Empire State Building's Observation Deck


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