The famous skyscraper, which appeared in the 1933 movie King Kong, is a New York City landmark. With its 120 storeys and its antenna it sticks out of the skyline of the city and can be considered an icon of American cultural identity. Since 1987, a sports competition called the Empire State Building Run-Up is organised.
The Empire State Building, which presumably got its name from the state of New York being called the Empire State, is built in the style of Art Deco. It reaches an impressive height of 443m if its antenna is included, its height without it however is only 381m. On the 86th floor there are two observation decks, one indoor and one outdoor. The building is located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street and houses offices as well as private appartments. On top of the building many important broadcast stations have placed their antennas. After the 9/11 attacks in 2001 nearly all of New York’s radio and television broadcasters transmitted from the Empire State Building as it regained its status as the tallest skyscraper in the city.
The building was completed in 1931, included in the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1986 and awarded first place in the ranking of America’s Favorite Architecture. It has recently started to improve its energy efficiency and eco-friendliness and was therefore certified with a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), making it the tallest LEED-rated building in the US.
As is a problem for many skyscrapers, some people regard them as an attractive place to commit suicide. There have been more than thirty suicides from the Empire State Building. After three people had tried to jump in a short period of time, a fence was set up in 1947. There have also been other negative headlines connected to the building: In 1945 a plane crashed into the north side of the Empire State Building due to foggy weather conditions; fourteen people were killed. Only a year later another aircraft nearly crashed into the skyscraper. The most recent incident was recorded in 1997, when a man shot seven people on the observation deck of the building.