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Empire State Building

            The Empire State Building is a famous landmark in New York City. It was the tallest building in the world at the time of its completion and for many years afterward. The 102-story building measures 1,250 feet from the sidewalk to the roof. The Empire State Building is located on Fifth Avenue between 33rd Street and 34th Street.
             Construction of the Empire State Building began in March of 1930 on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel at 350 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. It was completed 14 months later in May, 1931. Designed by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon Associates, the Empire State Building, at 102 stories, was the tallest building in the world until the completion of the first tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan in 1972. In 1931 the country was already in The Great Depression. It was a time of despair. The Empire State Building gave hope, ambition, and inspiration to America. It was completed extremely fast for such a huge building. On average, they completed 4 ½ stories of framework per week. The cornerstone was placed by Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York, September 17, 1930. The building cost $24,718,000. The Empire State Building officially opened on May 1, 1931, by President Herbert Hoover, who pressed a button in Washington, D.C. to turn on the building's lights. The building is example of art deco, a geometric style popular in the 1920's and 1930's. The building rises in a series of step-like shapes called setbacks to a slender tower topped by a metal spire. Panels of limestone and an alloy of chrome, nickel, and steel cover the skyscraper's riveted steel framework. The construction is so strong that only two floors suffered serious damage when a bomber crashed into the 79th floor in 1945.
             The idea for the empire State Building emerged from the culture and politics of New York in the early twentieth century, as Democratic presidential candidate Al smith spearheaded plans to erect the world's tallest skyscraper in a competition with founder of the Chrysler Corp.

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