The Risen Empire – Why We’re Fascinated With The Empire State Building
The Empire State Building in New York stole the title of the world’s tallest building for almost a century! So it’s no doubt that when you step inside this monumental wonder, you feel a sense of trepidation clubbed with subtle admiration.
The tower has a staggering 102 floors of office and rental space, ascending into layers of observatories. The all-access 80th and 86th floor observatories are a 30-second ride away in the famous Otis elevators.
History shows that the invention of the Otis elevator paved way for the skyscraper generation. And the first of these elevators were installed in the Empire State. Ours had an interactive visual screen on the elevator roof which gave us a tunnel-like feeling as we ascended.
The 80th floor observatory is more of an indoor museum, while the 86th floor one hosts a grill-laden outdoor space. On Mondays to Thursdays, a saxophonist plays on those decks from 9 pm to 12 am.
The Empire State building is open from 8 am to 1 am, 365 days of the year.
Empire State Building Highlights:
The ultimate observatory is the open-deck one on the 102th floor, which costs an additional $20, not included in your city pass. If you want to see the best city views, climb up here and watch the sun set over 4 states in its priestly golden splendour.
Best time to visit: Sunset. Dusk. Or night view.
The lighting on top of the building hosts a staggering 16 million colour combinations of lights! That’s a huge market for many advertisers! You can pre-book night light shows and plan the trip on their website.
There’s an Empire State mobile app, downloadable on their free WiFi, which provides an audio tour and quick tid bits of information on the building’s legendary construction.
The building has been scraped out and reconstructed many times. But its initiation spanned only 13 months. Now, it’s grown into a completely sustainable and energy-efficient structure. The entire building has minimal water wastage and its own exclusive temperature control system.
The entrance lobby is famous for its startling glazed mural of the Empire State, affixed in 23-karat gold and aluminium. What I liked more is the little welcome board near the security check where they have written welcomes in numerous languages, including my own. This gave me a bit of firecracker warmth and made me like the Empire State a little more than the other tourist sites in NYC.
Did you know that this tower is not exclusively for the government? LinkedIn, ShutterStock and many other companies have their offices located right here. In fact, with so many offices spanning the building, it has its own zip code – 10118!
Total time for visit: maximum 2 hours.
Best way to see NYC cheaply – Visit during free hours! See our list of free museum timings throughout NYC.
Circle Line Cruises – Read our review of their skyline cruise and decide whether to book them!
Best things to do and see in New York City – a video guide: