The views from Empire State Building

This page is about the visit to Empire State Building in the late evening on Monday 22nd, the day after the small earthquake. The observation deck features 360 degrees views of New York. I also visited ESB in March 1998, also in the evening (on St Patrick's day, also on the evening, the top was green because of that). But it was a bit different now since when I looked to the south, I could see that World Trade Center was gone and was replaced by the new WTC under construciton. And when looking to the North, 2 new buildings have been added to the skyline, both with illuminated neon spires that changes color constantly; Bank of America Tower and Conde Nast Building. From now on Empire State Bldg will be called ESB.

To reach ESB:s observation deck on the 86th floor, we had to pass through 5 lines, take 2 different elevators, totally over one hour of queing and that was in the late evening! In my opinion it is more price worthy to see Top of the Rock, the observation deck at Rockefeller Center's GE Bldg, since the lines are much shorter, the fee is cheaper, it is closer to the Midtown skyscrapers and Central Park and you can actually see ESB from the observation deck. But after all, I think both observation decks are a must then you are in NYC! I choosed to visit Top of the Rock at daytime, and ESB after dark.


Empire State Building is probably the world's most famous skyscraper. It has 102 floors and is 381 m tall to the roof, but the official height to the antenna spire is 443 m. It was completed in 1931 and was the world's tallest building between 1972 when World Trade Center was completed. After the attacks on 9/11 2001, Empire State Building was once again the tallest building in New York and the 3rd tallest in USA (2011), but will be beaten by the new World Trade Center that will be completed in 2014. ESB, designated a National Historical Landmark in 1986, is counted as an art deco building and it was completed in less then a year! The building is famous for being part of the classic movie King Kong, who climbs on the building. ESB has recently been undergoing a renovation, including a project that has transformed it to an eco-friendly structure. The observation deck is located on the 86th floor.

To see more of the exterior, visit the 5th Ave/ESB section, and other sections.


When looking to the North, 2 new buildings have been added to the skyline, both with illuminated neon spires that changes color constantly and have been built to compensate for the demolished radio transmitter on the destroyed WTC; Bank of America Tower and Conde Nast Building (middle). To the right you can see the illuminated GE Building, whose observation deck we visited daytime, and New York Times Tower to the left. The skyscraper with the pyramid shaped top is called One Worldwide Plaza and is situated immediately next to Times Square (note the neon lights). To the far left is New Jersey.

Note that the spires of Bank of America Tower and Conde Nast Building have different colours here! They are located between Bryant Park (the illuminated greenery) and Times Square (left).

There is an annoying fence on the observation deck that makes photographing a bit hard and explain that some of the pictures got a bit blurry (because you can't place a tripod and just zoom).

Here the 2 spires have changed color a 3rd time! The illuminated skyscraper o the far right is Citigroup Center.

Citigroup Center, Chrysler Bldg and Brooklyn can be seen to the right.

Chrysler Building, its nave looking spire is also illuminated after dark.

Times Square with all the neon lights.

The spire was blue this night. It is illuminated in different colours each night.

The top of Empire State Bldg looks different every night. The night we visited it was white, orange and blue (the mast). When I visited in 1998 it was St Patrick's day, and the top was green because of that!

Macy's, the world's largest store, doesn't look so large from the top of ESB!



Towards South Manhattan in the distance, the Financial District and the new World Trade Center under construction! Statue of Liberty to the far right.
Madison Square Park skycrapers in the foreground.


The new WTC, Lower Manhattan. Sorry about the blurry quality, it is hard to position the camera straight because of the fence!


Madison Square Park: NY Life Bldg with its illuminated golden spire and the historic Metropolitan Life Tower with its white illuminated top. The modern thin building to the right is One Madison Park.

Looking down to 5th Ave! The cars look like miniatures.

The observation deck was crowded, especially with Scandinavians! Here you can here people speak Swedish and Norwegian more then anywhere else in NY.

Empire State Bldg from below.



The interior of Empire State Building

When visiting ESB, you will see the magnificent Art Deco marble lobby with decorations reminding of Empire State Bldg.

The entrance to ESB.

This nice model of ESB is standing in the lobby.

One of ESB:s marble elevators that features decorations of the building. You have to take one elevator to the 86th floor first and then another one to the observation deck on the 88th floor. The Art Deco style can be found in many fixtures of the ESB. There were supposed to have been two ornate chandeliers designed specifically for the ESB lobby, but they were never created.