The Construction of The Empire State Building – The Most Famous Skyscraper in the World (39 Pics)

Built during the Great Depression between 1930 and 1931, the Empire State Building became known as “the Most Famous Skyscraper in the World.” The gigantic building was also the world’s tallest office building until 1967. The project was completed in record time – one year and 45 days with 3,000 workers. These incredible photos below show the dangerous nature of constructing the iconic Empire State Building.

Carl Russell waves to his co-workers on the structural work of the 88th floor of the new Empire State Building. Sep, 13. 1930.

es

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

Flirting with danger is just routine work for the steel workers arranging the steel frame for the Empire State Building. Sept. 29, 1930.

es2

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

es3

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

es4

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

es5

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

An odd photographic trick placed this steelworker’s finger on the lofty pinnacle of the Chrysler Building. This view was taken from the Empire State Building rising on the site of the old Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. A mooring mast for dirigibles will cap this 1,284-foot structure. Sept. 29, 1930.

es6

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

A construction worker hangs from an industrial crane during the construction of the Empire State Building. Oct. 29, 1930.

es7

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

It may be painful for the ant-like spectators in the street below, but it’s all in a day’s work for these smiling window washers as they go about their precarious work cleaning up the Empire State Building at dizzy heights of hundreds of feet above the street. Jan. 26, 1932.

es8

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

The startling ‘shot’ was made by the photographer looking down upon the window washers on the 34th street side of the building. Note the tiny insects that are motor cars and pedestrians. Jan. 26, 1932.

es9

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

A striking silhouette atop the gigantic RCA Building in Rockefeller Center, New York, as workmen light their cigarettes at the end of a working day. The Empire State Building rises dramatically in the background. Dec. 2, 1932.

es10

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

An unusual picture of one of the intrepid window washers, as he pauses in his task to draw a lung-full of clean air at his height. Mar. 24, 1936.

es11

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

Workmen at the new Empire State building erected on the site of the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 34th Street and 5th Avenue. in New York, by a corporation headed by the former Governor Al Smith, raised a flag on the 88th floor 1,048 feet above the street. The flag is at the highest point in the city higher then the Crystler Building. Photo shows the workmen at the ceremonies. Sept. 19, 1930.

es12

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

A zeppelin mooring mast will cap this engineering feat. Sept. 29, 1930.

es13

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

Workmen erect scaffolding as reconstruction work on the skyscraper begins. In spite of the damage the structure suffered when a B-25 crashed between the 78th and 79th stories, the world’s tallest building was open on July 30, 1945, two days after the tragic accident.

es14

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

Workmen place one of the new beacon lights in position on the 90th floor of an impressive electronic crown in the form of four far-reaching night beacons. Combined, the four Empire State Night lights will generate almost two billion candle power of light and will be the brightest continuous source of man-made light in the world. Engineers say the beacons can be seen from as far as 300 miles. Cost of the installation is $250,000. Feb. 28, 1956.

es15

Bettmann/Corbis, via Mashable/ Retronaut

Here are some more photos:

es16

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es17

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es18

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es19

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es20

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es21

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es22

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es23

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es24

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es25

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es26

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es27

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es28

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es29

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es30

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es31

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es32

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es33

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es34

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es35

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es36

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es37

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es38

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

es39

Lewis W. Hine/New York Public Library

SHARE this with your friends by clicking below!