TODAY IN HISTORY: Dedication of the Empire State Building (May 1, 1931)
New York City’s Empire State Building was dedicated on this day in 1931. The grand building was designed by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb and Harmon using earlier designs, for the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Construction began on January 22, 1930. The building’s spire was designed to be a mooring mast and depot for lighter than air craft such as diragibles, but proved too dangerous after the first few attempts. The building held the record as the tallest skyscraper until the construction of the World Trade Center in 1972. It was also surpassed by the Sears Tower in Chicago. With the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building again became the tallest skyscraper in New York City.