Empire State: Greatest of All Skyscrapers

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1976, Vol. 46, Issue 7, Pg. 65-68

Document Type: Feature article


The Empire State Building! That major name instantly brings to mind Manhattan's intoxicating skyline, a skyline this greatest of all skyscrapers has dominated for 45 years. A triumph of architectural and engineering genius, this Eighth Wonder of the World streaks skyward with bold defiance of the Earth's gravity for 1472 ft above the hustling, bustling New York sidewalk. Wrecking crews began demolishing the old Waldorf-Astoria on the building site on Oct.1, 1929. Later in that month, panic seized the New York Stock Exchange, ushering in the Great Depression. Demolition completed, the building was constructed with incredible speed. In fact, Empire State still holds the record as the fastest rising major skyscraper ever built. The key to rapid construction: shiny, metal vertical strips fastened directly to the steel frame. They divided the window from the masonry wall. There was no need to use super-accuracy in cutting the stone so it would mesh with the window frame; for the metal strip would cover any mistakes.

Subject Headings: High-rise buildings | Steel construction | Steel frames | Windows | Metals (material) | Walkways | Demolition | Fastening | New York | United States

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