Height: 437 meters
Cost to build: US$41 million
Completion date: May 1, 1931
Fast fact: The Empire State Building took only one year and 45 days to build, or 7 million man-hours, a record to this day for a skyscraper of its height.
“With the passing of the World Trade Center, it became even more entrenched in the hearts and souls of New Yorkers and the rest of the world.” — Michael Greene.
JAY-Z didn’t pick his song names out of nowhere. The 443-meter Empire State Building is the icon of New York, where “dreams are made” and King Kong went berserk.
Built during the Great Depression, this gigantic building has been an American symbol for 70 years, providing a solid anchor through the ebbs and flows of its economy. It is also the longest holder of the “World’s Tallest Building” title, from 1931 to 1972.
The building, whose exterior lighting changes regularly to promote charitable causes and mark significant events, is one of the few skyscrapers that offers wedding packages at its observatory.
But its light gray curtain of glass blends in perfectly with the notoriously misty skyline of Beijing, earning this one-of-a-kind skyscraper two awards at the annual.