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12 Interesting Empire State Building Facts for Kids 2022

New York City is one of the world’s most iconic cities and is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and buildings. When we think of New York, the Empire State Building is often the first thing that comes to mind. It’s impossible to miss and has been a part of New York’s cultural conversation for several decades. 

Empire State Building Facts

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the Empire State Building’s history, construction, and role in New York City.  

Let’s take a closer look.    

12 Interesting Facts About Empire State Building 

1. The Empire State Building is among the top 100 tallest buildings in the world.  

The Empire State Building

One of the most notable features of the Empire State building is that it was the first building in the world to be over 100 stories high. This building took a year to construct and was finally completed in 1931. However, only 86 floors are usable, even today. Floors one to 85 contain a surface area of more than two million square feet, comprising both office and commercial space, while the 86th floor is home to an observatory. All of the other floors in the building belong to the spire. It’s important to note that the floors that are a part of the spire are not used by people but were built for mechanical reasons. 

2. The Empire State Building has more than 70 elevators. 

Since this building is one of the biggest buildings in New York, it’s not surprising that its got lots of elevators. Out of all the elevators in the building, only one of them travels to the 80th floor. The Otis Elevator Company built 64 of the original elevators, all of which were different sizes and reached different floors. When the Empire State building was first built, there were only four express elevators. These elevators connected the 80th floor to the lobby and several landings throughout the building. Out of 64, 58 elevators were for people to use, while the remaining ones were used solely for deliveries. 

3. There are three observation decks in the Empire State Building. 

Empire State Building in Night

More than 3.5 million people visit the observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors every year, according to a report from 2010, and it’s safe to assume that those numbers have only increased over time. From the decks, people can look through magnifiers to see a 360-degree view of the entire city of New York. The deck on the 86th floor is open 365 days a year, thanks to the fact that it has both an open-air viewing space and an enclosed gallery. The lines to go to the viewing decks are notoriously long, and you must buy tickets well in advance to visit one of the decks!

4. The Empire State Building’s design plans kept changing. 

Back when this building was first being conceptualized, the architects originally wanted to construct something that was only 50 stories high. As the plans changed, the number of floors was increased to 60 and then 80. Critics were happy about the location of this building because it is located near multiple transit systems. The height of the building was also changed several times during the developmental process. 

5. The building has a running contest every year. 

Empire State Building Night view

The Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual contest held every year. This contest is a race run on foot, all the way from the ground floor to the 86th floor. It was first held in 1978 and was put together by an organization called NYCRUNS. The participants are considered to be both runners and climbers, and they must climb up 1576 steps. The record time that people must beat to climb up those steps is nine minutes and 33 seconds. The person who set that record is called Paul Crake, who won the contest back in 2003. 

6. The Empire State building is a representation of hope. 

Studies have shown that this building is one of the most popular buildings in America and the world alike. A survey conducted in 2007 showed that the Empire State building was voted America’s favorite building. Aside from the fact that it is a cultural and architectural landmark and marvel, the Empire State Building served as a representation of hope during the Great Depression while also serving as a physical reminder of the hard work done by immigrants. 

7. The Empire State Building is a cultural icon. 

Empire State Building Tower

Several notable and popular movies have featured this building in it! In fact, we’d argue that it is a character itself in movies like King Kong, Sleepless In Seattle, One Fine Day, Zoolander, and Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy. Aside from films, this building has also been featured in multiple television shows, including Family Guy, Futurama, The Simpsons, Gossip Girl, Fringe, and Doctor Who

8. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world for 42 years. 

Long before the Burj Khalifa came into existence, this New York icon was the tallest building in the world for over four decades. When the North tower of the World Trade Center North tower was completed in 1970, the Empire State building lost its record! Until the Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma (KWTV Mast) was constructed in 1954, the Empire State Building was the tallest man-made building in the world. 

9. The site where the Empire State building was used to be owned by the Astor family.

Empire State Building Tower

The Astor family consisted of a group of rich people who were successful in politics, business, and society in both the United States and the United Kingdom. A son named John Jacob Astor owned the site where the Empire State Building was built, where there was a Waldorf hotel. As time went on, New York’s elite class had begun socializing in different parts of the city, and they sold the hotel to a company called the Bethlehem Engineering Corporation. 

10. The Empire State Building weighs over 300,000 tonnes. 

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that this massive building weighs a whole lot! During the construction process, the builders learned that this building needed over 1000 miles of elevator cables and more than two million feet of electrical wire. The building has a steel frame to support the overall construction, giving it the support it needs to support the 20,000 people that work inside it and the 15,000 people that visit it every day. 

11. The lights on the Empire State Building are used for many public events. 

When the building was first built, it had white searchlights at its top, and they were first used in 1932 to celebrate Roosevelt’s presidential win. As time went on, more and more lights were added to the building to signal different cultural and political events. For instance, after Frank Sinatra died in 1998, the building was lit up in blue in his honor; Sinatra was called Ol’ Blue Eyes. 

12. Two people parachuted from the building. 

For most adventure seekers, jumping off cliffs or out of planes is enough. However, two British poeple who participated in the Empire State Building’s annual running and climbing contest hid parachutes under their clothes. When they reached the top of the building, they jumped off the building and parachuted down. Even though they were safe and nothing bad happened, they were arrested. 


In this article, we walked you through a list of interesting facts about the Empire State Building. This iconic New York City landmark has played an important role in American history and continues to remain a representation of hope and prosperity in a place that is considered to be the greatest city in the world!

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