Empire State Building turns 85

Published 9:05 PM ET, Sat April 30, 2016
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The Empire State Building will celebrate its 85th birthday on May 1. Take a look back at images from its long and cherished history. John Moore/Getty Images
A worker sits on a beam during the construction of the Empire State Building. Construction began on March 17, 1930, with 3,000 workers building 4.5 floors per week. Lewis Hine/National Archive/Getty Images
Former Gov. Alfred E. Smith stands with his grandchildren and attendees in the lobby of the Empire State Building on May 1, 1931. The building officially opened when President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C., causing the illumination of the building. AP
King Kong stands atop the Empire State Building as he holds an airplane during an attack by fighter planes in a scene from the film "King Kong." The movie was released on May 2, 1933. AP
A window cleaner hangs suspended from the exterior of The Empire State Building while using a leather safety harness in 1935. Al Gretz/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Firefighters search through the charred ruins near the gaping hole in the wall of an office on the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in New York, on July 28, 1945. An Army Air Corps B-25 twin-engine bomber plane crashed into the building due to foggy conditions. Two stories were damaged, and 14 people are killed. NY Daily News/AP
A worker attaches the temporary television antenna in 1950. A year later, the building is sold for $34 million. PhotoQuest/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Negotiators sit at a table discussing the sale of the Empire State Building. The building is sold in 1951 for $34 million to a group led by Roger Stevens, but is also sold to Prudential Insurance Company of America, which agreed to a long-term lease. George Mattson/NY Daily News/Getty Images
Workmen clean the exterior of Empire State Building in 1962. Lee Lockwood/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Actors Meg Ryan, Ross Malinger, center, and Tom Hanks are seen on the observation deck of in a scene from the 1993 film "Sleepless in Seattle." The building has been featured in several movies such as "An Affair to Remember," "Elf," and "The Amazing Spider-Man." Twentieth Century Fox
Couples kiss on the observation deck after participating in the Valentine's Day marriage marathon on February 14, 1996. Every year on Valentine's Day, couples who marry on the 80th floor become members of the Empire State Building Wedding Club. They receive free admission to the observatory each year on February 14 (their anniversary) thereafter. MARTY LEDERHANDLER/AP
Cindy Moll of Indianapolis is the first woman to cross the finish line in the 23rd annual Run-Up. The Empire State Building Run-Up is an annual race up the stairs to the 86th floor (1,576 steps). Budd Williams/NY Daily News/Getty Images
The twin towers of the World Trade Center burn behind the Empire State Building in New York, on September 11, 2001. Marty Lederhandler/AP
People walk through the lobby of the Empire State Building on its 75th anniversary on May 1, 2006. Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
The Empire State Building is lit with red and blue lights following the 2016 New York Primary on April 19. Danny Ghitis for CNN