New York City boasts one of the most famous skylines in the world, and the Empire State Building is undeniably the focal point of this incredible view. At 102 stories, the structure was no small feat. In fact, its construction coincided with the onset of the Great Depression, and so progress was met with numerous setbacks. Still, because of the efficiency that went into the building's development, it only took a year and forty-five days to complete! In this informative, easy-to-read account, Janet B. Pascal describes the rise of skyscrapers in the United States, the intricacies of the groundbreaking construction process, and the effect the iconic Empire State Building continues to have today.
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Where Is the Empire State Building?
In 1929, there was a “race for the sky” in New York City. Two new skyscrapers were going up—the Chrysler Building and the Manhattan Company Building. Each owner wanted his building to be the tallest in the world. But neither man knew exactly what height the other was aiming for. The owner of the Manhattan Company managed to discover the plans for the Chrysler Building. Immediately, he changed his plans so that his building would be taller.
So in April 1930, the Manhattan Company Building became the tallest in the world. But only for a few weeks. Secretly, the crew of the Chrysler Building was creating a tall spire. All the work took place inside the unfinished building, so no one knew about it. When the spire—125 feet high—was finished, it was lifted up through a hole in the roof. Suddenly the tallest building in the world was the Chrysler Building! With its spire, it was 1,046 feet tall.
What neither company knew was that a third group of builders was watching them both closely. Their building was already designed. But they were waiting until the Chrysler Building was finished before making their plans final. However tall the Chrysler Building was, they planned to make sure their own building was a little taller.
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