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Empire State Building Fast Facts

By CNN Library
updated 6:39 AM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014

(CNN) -- Here's what you need to know about the Empire State Building.

It stands 103 stories tall (1,250 feet to top floor, excludes height of antennae -- 204 feet)

It is located on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets in Manhattan.

Facts:
The Empire State Building took only one year and 45 days to build, or more than seven million man-hours.

There are observatories on both the 86th and 102nd floors. They attract around four million people annually.

The static electricity is so strong on the top of the building that people on the observatory floor can see sparks when they kiss.

The building has been featured in several movies such as "An Affair to Remember" and "Sleepless in Seattle."

Visitors can see 80 miles into New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts on a clear day.

The tower lights are turned off on foggy nights during the spring and autumn bird migration seasons, so the lights shining through the fog will not confuse birds and cause them to fly into the building.

Every year on Valentine's Day, couples marry on the 80th floor and become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club. They receive free admission to the observatory each year on February 14 (their anniversary) thereafter.

Over thirty people have jumped to their deaths from the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual race up the stairs to the 86th floor (1,576 steps).

William Lamb, an architect at the firm Shreve, Lamb, & Harmon, designed the Empire State Building.

The contractor was firm Starrett Brothers and Eken.

Timeline:
1929 - John J. Raskob, Coleman and Pierre du Pont, Louis G. Kaufman and Ellis P. Earle create Empire State, Inc.

January 22, 1930 - Excavation begins.

March 17, 1930 - Construction begins with 3,000 workers building 4.5 floors per week.

April 1931 - At completion, it becomes the tallest building in the world.

May 1, 1931 - President Herbert Hoover turns on the building's lights, officially opening it, by pressing a button in Washington, D.C.

July 28, 1945 - At the end of World War II, an Army Air Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber plane crashes into the 79th floor of the building, due to foggy conditions. Only two stories are damaged, but 14 people are killed.

1951 - The building is sold for $34 million to a group headed by Roger Stevens, but is also sold to Prudential Insurance Company of America. PICA agrees to a long term lease.

1954 - Col. Henry J. Crown and his Chicago group purchases the building for $51.5 million.

1961 - An investment group headed by Lawrence Wien purchases the building for $65 million.

1973 - The construction of the World Trade Center in Manhattan ends the Empire State Building's reign as the tallest building in the world.

May 18, 1981 - The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission declares the building a landmark.

1986 - National Parks Service recognizes it as a National Historic Landmark.

September 11, 2001 - Becomes the tallest building in New York City again after the collapse of the World Trade Center.

2002 - Peter L. Malkin purchases the building while holding the 114-year lease; becomes owner and manager.

April 27, 2006 - Jeb Ray Corliss, host of Discovery Channel's "Stunt Junkies," is arrested on the 86th-floor observation deck after he tries to climb over the railing. He was wearing a mask, costume, video camera and parachute. Corliss is charged with reckless endangerment, assault, criminal trespass and obstructing governmental administration.

February 13, 2012 - Malkin Holdings LLC, which controls the Empire State Building, files for an initial public offering for a real estate investment trust (REIT) for the building, along with two other Manhattan properties it controls. The filing puts the estimated value for the Empire State Building at $2.5 billion.

April 30, 2012 - The new One World Trade Center rescinds Empire State Building's title of the tallest building in the city.

November 6, 2012 - The Empire State Building partners with CNN and displays presidential election results in real time on a new LED panel.

Characteristics:
Cost: $40,948,900 (including land)

Building Alone: $24,718,000 (less than anticipated by half, due to the Depression)

Area of Site: 79,288 square feet (7,240m) or about two acres. East to west, 424 feet (129m), north to south, 187 feet (56.9m).

Lobby: 47 feet (14.3m) above sea level

Height: The base of building rises five floors above the street. The entrance is four floors high. The lobby is three floors high. From the 60-foot setback on the fifth floor, the building soars without a break to the 86th floor.

Total Height: 1,454 feet (1,453 feet, 8 9/16th inches) or 443.2m to top of lightning rod.
- To 86th Floor Observatory: 1,050 feet (320m)
- To 102nd Floor Observatory: 1,250 feet
- 102nd Floor to Tip: 230 feet

Height of Antenna: 204 feet

Floors: 103

Steps: 1,872 from street level to 103rd floor

Weight: 365,000 tons

Windows: 6,514

Street Level Access: Five entrances on 33rd Street, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street.

Elevators: 73, including six freight elevators.

Escalators: There are eight high-speed escalators in the concourse and second floor areas.

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