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Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is one of the most recognized skyscrapers in the world and an icon of New York City. When the Empire State Building opened on May 1, 1931, it was the tallest building in the world - standing at 1,250 feet tall. It remained the tallest building in the world for 41 years until it was surpassed by One World Trade Center in 1972. The Empire State Building was designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building and its street floor interior were designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Ever since it was built, the image of the Empire State Building has appeared in hundreds of artistic expressions, postcards and movies. Soon after opening it became a major tourist destination, attracting many famous people, including the French Prime Minister, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Pope Pius XII, Fidel Castro and Queen Elisabeth II.

Designed by the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the Empire State Building was developed by John Jakob Raskob, former vice president of General Motors, as he joined the race to build the world's tallest skyscraper. The building features two observatories, on the 86th and 102nd floor.

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