On May 1, 1931, New York City’s Empire State Building, a 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan stood 1,454 feet tall as 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.
It was reported to have an astonishing lack of safety regulations, and 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 in April 11, 1931, 12 days ahead of schedule.
In 1972, the Empire State Building lost its title as world’s tallest building to New York’s World Trade Center, which itself was the tallest skyscraper for but a year. Today the honor belongs to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower, which soars 2,716 feet into the sky.