34th Street

Real Estate

Empire State Building Turns 85

Even after many decades, beloved landmark remains symbol of the greatest city in the world.

On Sunday, the Empire State Building marked its 85th year. Built in record time during the Great Depression, the office tower has weathered, gracefully, assaults by giant monkeys, a crash by an errant airplane, and New York City’s great swoon and dramatic revival. Today it serves as the very symbol of the world’s greatest city and its image is familiar to people around the world.

As noted by Terence Cullen noted in the Commercial Observer, it was a big deal when the Empire State Building opened its doors on May 1, 1931. Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt was there for the ceremony, alongside former Governor Al Smith and developer John J. Raskob, and President Herbert Hoover pushed a button in Washington to turn on the Art Deco masterpiece’s lights for the first time. Even those luminaries might be surprised at the importance that New Yorkers continue to attach to the landmark 85 years later.  

Owner Empire State Realty Trust has prepared the building well for the 21st Century with $550 million in improvements and an eye to energy efficiency. That investment has undoubtedly paid off, as the building continues to add high-tech tenants, including LinkedIn and Shutterstock, as well as the high-profile construction group Skansa.

34th Street Partnership is proud to have the Empire State Building as a constituent, and we send our birthday greetings. If you want to learn more about this amazing building, check out this article in amNY

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