Empire State Building


Construction of the 102-story Empire State Building began in 1930 and was completed in one year and 45 days, rising at a rate of four-and-a-half stories a week; a rate of ascent unsurpassed today. Everything was engineered to be duplicated in tremendous quantity with almost perfect accuracy. The steel posts and beams arrived at the site marked with their place in the framework and with the number of the derrick that would hoist them. Workers could swing the steel into place and have it riveted as soon as 80 hours after it had come out of the furnace. The building is considered one of the seven greatest American engineering achievements.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Civil
Topic(s):Structures
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:One of the challenges in designing the Empire State Building was making sure it could withstand the wind loads. The building is supported by 210 steel and concrete columns, 12 of which run from the foundation to the very top. It is said it would take a wind blowing at 4,500,000 pounds pressure to knock the building over.