20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building

20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building

Jacob Miller - July 23, 2017

The Empire State Building, the 102-story skyscraper on Fifth Ave. between West 33rd and 34th Streets in Midtown Manhattan stands 1,454 feet tall. It was the world’s tallest building for 39 years from its completion in 1931 until the World Trade Center’s North Tower was completed in 1970. It has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction of the building began on March 17. The project involved 3,400 workers, mostly European immigrants, as well as hundreds of Mohawk iron workers. Despite an astonishing lack of safety regulations, only five workers died during construction.

The construction of the Empire State Building was part of a competition in New York City for the “world’s tallest building” with 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building. The Empire State Building surpassed both buildings in height upon its completion on April 11, 1931, 12 days ahead of schedule.

20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
1929-1931 Empire State Building under Construction. mashable
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
New York 1950s. Worker on Empire State Building. servatius
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Sept. 29, 1930 Flirting with danger is just routine work for the steel workers arranging the steel frame for the Empire State Building, which became the world’s tallest structure when completed. Pinterest
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Steelworker Carl Russell sits at 1,222 feet (400 meters) on top of a steel beam casually waving to the cameraman. Imgur
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Oct. 29, 1930 A construction worker hangs from an industrial crane during the construction of the Empire State Building. BETTMANN: CORBIS
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Feb. 28, 1956 “Workmen place one of the new beacon lights in position on the 90th floor of an impressive electronic crown in the form of four far-reaching night beacons. Combined, the four Empire State Night lights will generate almost two billion candle power of light and will be the brightest continuous source of man-made light in the world. Engineers say the beacons can be seen from as far as 300 miles. Cost of the installation is $250,000.” BETTMANN/CORBIS
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
1) July 30, 1945 “Workmen erect scaffolding on the 33rd Street Side of the Empire State Building as reconstruction work on the skyscraper begins. In spite of the damage the structure suffered when a B-25 crashed between the 78th and 79th stories, the world’s tallest building was open today (July 30th), two days after the tragic accident.” BETTMANN/CORBIS
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
1) Sept. 19, 1930 “Workmen at the new Empire State building that is being erected on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 34th Street and 5th Avenue. in New York, by a corporation headed by the former Governor Al Smith, raised a flag on the 88th story of the great building, 1,048 feet above the street. The flag thus is at the highest point in the city higher than the Crystler Building. Photo shows the workmen at the ceremonies.” BETTMANN/CORBIS
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Sept. 29, 1930, Erected on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria, this building will rise 1,284 feet into the air. A zeppelin mooring mast will cap this engineering feat. Mashable

20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Workers taking a break from construction. raredelights
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Structural worker on a steel girder during the construction of the Empire State Building in 1930. raredelights
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
The very top of the Empire State Building, more specifically the steel, aluminum and glass-made spire. raredelights
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
This spire was initially designed to be used as a mooring station for various aircraft, but the severe winds that are present at that particular altitude canceled the possibility of airship docking. raredelights
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Photographer Lewis Hine was commissioned to document the process. He desired to capture the character rather than just architecture. 6sqft
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Waiting for some scaffolding. iparkatasztrofak
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Workers on loose scaffolding. Pinterest
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
NYC. Manhattan. Construction of the Empire State building. 1929 – 1931. Pinterest
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Break during the construction of the Empire State Building. Pinterest
20 Incredible Photos of the Construction of the Empire State Building
Working on an I-beam. Pinterest

 

Sources For Further Reading:

ThoughtCo – All About the Empire State Building

6 Square Feet – The Wild And Dark History Of The Empire State Building

History Channel – 10 Surprising Facts About the Empire State Building

Warburg Realty – The Battle To Be The World’s Tallest Building

Slate – A Tale of Two Skyscrapers

The Sun – Historic Snaps Show The Terrifying Conditions For Empire State Building Construction Workers In The 1930s

Empire State Building Tragedy:

History Collection – A Plane Crashed into the Empire State Building

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