Empire State Building Uses

Empire State Building NYC

Uses of the Empire State Building  

The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City, standing tall at 1,454 feet. Completed in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world until 1971 and even today remains one of the most recognizable skyscrapers in the world. I can never resist the urge to take a picture of the Empire State Building every time I cross it, which is often. However, Empire State Building uses go beyond just a tourist attraction, and it has retail stores at the bottom and office space in between, with the higher floors being much beloved tourist destination to get amazing views of Manhattan and its surrounding areas.

One of the best known uses of the Empire State Building is as a tourist attraction. Every year, millions of visitors come to the building to take in the breathtaking views of the city from its observation decks. The Empire State Building has also been featured in many movies and TV shows, further cementing its status as a cultural icon and NYC landmark.

Aside from its role as a tourist attraction, the Empire State Building has also served as a broadcasting tower, housing various radio and television stations over the years. In addition, the building is used for office space, with many companies renting out floors for their operations, with retail stores at the ground level.

In addition, the Empire State Building lights reflect major events, happenings and holidays, visible from miles away as an acknowledgement and celebration of world events, milestones and celebrations.

Overall, the Empire State Building plays an important role in the history of New York City and continues to be a symbol of the city’s resilience and innovation.

What is the Empire State Building Used For

Empire State Building is a popular destination not just for tourists, but also for business as commercial real estate for offices, retail stores and restaurants. It even has its own zip code.

Tourist Attraction

The Empire State Building hosts 4 million visitors a year as a must-visit destination for tourists and visitors in New York City. The iconic building offers a unique experience that provides breathtaking views of the city and beyond.

The Empire State Building Observatory provides stunning views of the city, including the skyline, Central Park, and the Statue of Liberty, and on a clear day visitors can see sweeping views up to 80 miles over five states – New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts – from its observation deck.

Visitors can take in the views from the indoor and outdoor observatories, which are equipped with binoculars and information kiosks.  ESB offers its visitors an open air observatory on the 86th Floor, and an observation deck on the 102nd floor, along with exhibits on the 2nd and 80th Floors.

During the day, visitors can see the city in detail, including the layout and geography of the surrounding areas. At night, the city lights up, providing a different and equally impressive experience.

Here is the Empire State Building’s beating heart on Valentine’s Day as seen from Long Island City.

Empire State Building Tower Lights on Valentine’s Day

NYC Landmark

The Empire State Building is a defining feature of Manhattan’s skyline since it was built in 1931.  It has been featured in movies and TV shows, making it a globally known landmark.  In fact, a 2011 study by Cornell University researchers actually came to the conclusion that the Empire State Building is the most photographed building in the world after analyzing millions of photographs.

The Empire State Building’s lights have been a beloved feature of NYC since 1976, and have been finding their way into the hearts and cameras of New Yorkers and visitors alike.

Office Space

The Empire State Building has a total floor area of 2.8 million square feet, with 85 floors of office space. The building has a diverse mix of tenants, including law firms, financial institutions, and media companies, some of the notable ones being Linkedin, Workday, Priceline and Expedia. ESB offers over 65,000 sq ft of amenities for its tenants, which include sports, fitness, conference and dining facilities. There are dedicated entrances for its tenants, and 64 passenger elevators and 6 freight service the building.

Retail Space

Empire State Building’s ground floor is prime retail space given its location on Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets, offices in the building and in surrounding blocks, as well as the density of tourists in that area in general.  You can find a Walgreens and many restaurants and coffee shops, including a Starbucks Reserve on the 2nd level.

Special Events

Empire State Building is also used for a variety of events and purposes, including film shoots, weddings, and charity fundraisers.  Some of the famous movies filmed here include King Kong, Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember.

Empire State Building hosts events for Valentine’s Day, and a Run Up event where participants race up 1,576 stairs to climb 86 floors in about 10 minutes.

Broadcasting Stations

Given its height, there are a number of television and FM stations that broadcast from the Empire State Building’s antenna.

Empire State Building Lights

The Empire State Building is renowned for its iconic lights that illuminate the New York City skyline from sundown till 2am.. The building’s lights are used to celebrate special occasions, holidays, and important events. The lights are also used to raise awareness for various causes, such as breast cancer awareness month and autism awareness month. There is a calendar for the color of the Tower Lights, and ESB actually accepts applications for a Tower Lighting Request online.

The Empire State Building’s lights are controlled by a state-of-the-art computer system that allows for precise and customizable lighting displays. The lights can display up to 16 million colors and can be programmed to create complex patterns and designs. 

The building’s lights are often used to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Independence Day, and cultural events such as St. Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year. In addition to celebrating holidays and cultural events, the Empire State Building’s lights are used to raise awareness for important causes such as pink during breast cancer awareness month and in blue during autism awareness month.

While it is amazing to experience the lights every single night, it is surreal to experience special lighting events such as the one to kick off Season 4 of Stranger Things, which was amazing to see.

Stranger Things 4 Takeover of the Empire State Building

Closing Thoughts

The Empire State Building is an iconic landmark in New York, and is a destination for New Yorkers with its use as office and retail space, and for tourists as a must visit detination with its rich history and spectacular sweeping views to five different states on a clear day.

The Empire State Building’s lights are an important part of not just the building’s identity but also of New York City’s identity, and are used to celebrate important events and raise awareness for important causes.

All in all, the Empire State Building is an integral part of NYC’s landscape and identity.

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Hi, I'm Hanit Gyani, a full time professional by day and a blogger by night and weekend. Welcome to my blog, aka my passion project, Gotta Love New York.

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