When the Empire State Building opened on May 1, 1931, it was the tallest building in the world – standing at 1,250 feet tall. This building not only became an icon of New York City, it became a symbol of twentieth century man’s attempts to achieve the impossible.
How did this gigantic icon get built? It started with a race to the sky.
When the Eiffel Tower (984 feet) was built in 1889 in Paris it, in a way, taunted American architects to build something taller. By the early twentieth century, a skyscraper race was on. By 1909 the Metropolitan Life Tower rose 700 feet (50 stories), quickly followed by the Woolworth Building in 1913 at 792 feet (57 stories), and soon surpassed by the Bank of Manhattan Building in 1929 at 927 feet (71 stories).
When John Jakob Raskob (previously a vice president of General Motors) decided to join in the skyscraper race, Walter Chrysler (founder of the Chrysler Corporation) was constructing a monumental building, the height of which he was keeping secret until the building’s completion. Not knowing exactly what height he had to beat, Raskob started construction on his own building.
In 1929, Raskob and his partners bought a parcel of property at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue for their new skyscraper. On this property sat the glamorous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Since the property on which the hotel was located had become extremely valuable, the owners of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel decided to sell the property and build a new hotel on Park Avenue (between 49th and 50th Streets). Raskob was able to purchase the site for approximately $16 million.
After deciding on and obtaining a site for the skyscraper, Raskob needed a plan. Raskob hired Shreve, Lamb & Harmon to be the architects for his new building. It is said that Raskob pulled a thick pencil out of a drawer and held it up to William Lamb and asked, “Bill, how high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?”1
Lamb got started planning right away. Soon, he had a plan:
The logic of the plan is very simple. A certain amount of space in the center, arranged as compactly as possible, contains the vertical circulation, mail chutes, toilets, shafts and corridors. Surrounding this is a perimeter of office space 28 feet deep. The sizes of the floors diminish as the elevators decrease in number. In essence, there is a pyramid of non-rentable space surrounded by a greater pyramid of rentable space.2
But was the plan high enough to make the Empire State Building the tallest in the world? Hamilton Weber, the original rental manager, describes the worry:
We thought we would be the tallest at 80 stories. Then the Chrysler went higher, so we lifted the Empire State to 85 stories, but only four feet taller than the Chrysler. Raskob was worried that Walter Chrysler would pull a trick – like hiding a rod in the spire and then sticking it up at the last minute.3
The race was getting very competitive. With the thought of wanting to make the Empire State Building higher, Raskob himself came up with the solution. After examining a scale model of the proposed building, Raskob said, “It needs a hat!”4 Looking toward the future, Raskob decided that the “hat” would be used as a docking station for dirigibles. The new design for the Empire State Building, including the dirigible mooring mast, would make the building 1,250 tall (the Chrysler Building was completed at 1,046 feet with 77 stories).
Fun Fact About the Empire State Building
Where is the Empire State Building located?
The Empire State Building is located at 350 Fifth Avenue (between 33rd and 34th Streets) in New York City.
How tall is it?
There are several numbers to describe the height of the Empire State Building. The total height of the building, including the lightning rod, is 1,454 feet. The height of the building from the ground to its tip is usually given as 1,250 feet. The measurement from the ground to the 102nd floor observatory is 1,224 feet and from the ground to the 86th floor observatory is 1,050 feet.
Who were the architects?
Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates
Who built the Empire State Building?
The builders Starrett Bros. & Eken were contracted to build it.
How long did it take to build?
The building was actually completed ahead of schedule, taking only one year and 45 days to build.
How much did the Empire State Building cost to build?
The building itself cost $24,718,000 to build (nearly half the expected cost because of the Great Depression). Including the property on which the building sits, the total cost for the Empire State Building was $40,948,900.
How many floors are in the Empire State Building?
There are 102 floors.
How many steps are there to the top of the Empire State Building?
There are 1,860 from street level to 102nd floor.
How many windows are in the building?
There are 6,500 windows. What a lot to clean!
How many man-hours did it take to construct?
It took 7,000,000 man-hours.
How many people worked on the building?
At peak times, there were as many as 3,400 workers at one time.
How much steel did it take to construct the frame?
It took 57,000 tons of steel to construct the steel skeleton.
How much telephone wire is in the Empire State Building?
There is approximately 17 million feet of telephone wire servicing the building.
How many people died while building the Empire State Building?
Though rumors of hundreds of people dying on the work site circulated during the time of its construction, official records state that only five workers were killed: one worker was struck by a truck; a second fell down an elevator shaft; a third was hit by a hoist; a fourth was in a blast area; and a fifth fell off a scaffold.
8 Easy Little Ways to Go Green
If you are not ready yet to start making green changes in your life but still want to help the environment, there are several ways to help you into a greener lifestyle.
When running errands, park your car and go inside instead of using the drive-thru, if the places you are going are close to each other walk; don’t forget that for every two minutes your car is inactive, it uses approximately the same amount of fuel you would use to travel one mile. What a waste of gas!
Eat Your Veggies
If your food could talk, it would tell you a lot. Typical grocery store products travel nearly 1,500 miles before it ends up on your plate. All this traveling burns fossil fuels and results in carbon emissions or what we call pollution. Buying from local farmers means you’re not only getting the freshest food possible, but also you’re saving energy.
One of the easiest ways to reduce paper use in your house is by paying your bills online and receiving statements via e-mail. Taking advantage of paperless programs at your bank or utility company means you’ll save money on stamps, eliminate paper waste and always have easy access to your account information and payment history.
The fossil fuels burned to provide a single home with electricity put more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. Use less energy by turning off lights and unplugging appliances when you don’t need them. Even a cell phone charger continues to use energy when plugged in, whether your cell phone is charging or not. If you use a power strip, you can turn off several appliances with the flip of just one switch.
Check Your Temperature
Sometimes a small change in temperature can have big results. Try keeping your thermostat one to two degrees warmer in the summer and one to two degrees cooler in the winter. This will lower your electricity bill and save a wealth of energy over the course of the year. In nice weather, open windows instead of using lamps and air conditioning.
See the Light
In good weather, you can use natural light to your advantage by opening windows and drawing back curtains, rather than lighting your house 24/7 with lamps and ceiling lights. In hot weather, use heavy curtains or shades to block out the heat and prevent your AC from working overtime.
By taking shorter and fewer showers you can save thousands of gallons of water each year. An ordinary showerhead flows 5 gallons of water per minute, so if you take a five-minute shower instead of a 10-minute one you’ll save 25 gallons of water. Other ways to save water include running full loads through your dishwasher and laundry washing machine, Use cold water and cold-water detergents to save energy, and use a dryer rack instead of the mechanical dryer once a week.
Another simple way to eliminate waste and save money is to make the switch to rechargeable batteries. Even though their initial cost is higher, rechargeable batteries can be recharged hundred of times before they go bad, meaning they could last for years longer than the disposable kind and save you significant cash in the long run. Remember to responsibly recycle dead batteries, both rechargeable and disposable.
Blog one change you are willing to make to go green
Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling: Environmental Concerns
1. What does it mean if a notebook is made from recycled paper?
- A) The notebook is made from inexpensive materials.
- B) The notebook is made from nonrenewable resources.
- C) The notebook is made from paper that was used before.
- D) The notebook is made from materials that came directly from trees.
- 2. What are two problems with throwing away trash?
- A) pollution and creating traffic
- B) pollution and using up natural resources
- C) running out of space and creating traffic
- D) using up natural resources and attracting animals
- 3. Which is an example of a solid waste?
- A) soil
- B) trees
- C) a tin can
- D) polluted water
- 4. About how much trash does a family throw away every year?
- A) 3 pounds
- B) 14 pounds
- C) 200 pounds
- D) 5,000 pounds
- 5. Which is an example of a renewable resource?
- A) oil
- B) a tree
- C) aluminum
- D) a plastic bottle
- 6. Why are materials like toxic chemicals and oil not allowed in most sanitary landfills?
- A) They do not dissolve in water.
- B) They attract birds and other animals.
- C) They can melt plastics and other waste.
- D) They can pollute air and drinking water.
- 7. Which is one of the three R’s of solving the problems of solid waste?
- A) reduce
- B) resource
- C) regulate
- D) refine
- 8. Using fewer disposable items can help to protect our environment from problems with solid waste.
- 9. What is a way to reuse solid waste?
- A) throwing a paper bag in a trash can
- B) buying a toy with plastic packaging
- C) breaking glass bottles into smaller pieces
- D) using an empty milk carton to make a bird feeder
Pick an adult in the room to write an article about.
Ms.Broderick – Student Council
Mr. Green – Graduates from Brooklyn College with a Counseling Degree
Ms. Rosen- Plans the Carnival’s for our School
Remember to research your choice by making sure you have the answer to the following questions Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
Take notes during the interview on this sheet:Then Write your paragraph on this sheet from your notes.
Lenape women, Oklahoma (1910), descendants of original inhabitants of New York City region
Skeletons unearthed at Lenape burial ground, Burial Ridge in Staten Island, the largest pre-European burial ground in NYC.
As in much of North America, human habitation appeared in the island fairly rapidly after the retreat of the ice sheet. Archaeologists have recovered tool evidence of Clovis culture activity dating from approximately 14,000 years ago. This evidence was first discovered in 1917 in the Charleston section of the island. Various Clovis artifacts have been discovered since then, on property owned by the Mobil Oil corporation. The island was probably abandoned later, possibly because of the extinctionof large mammals on the island. Evidence of the first permanent American Indian settlements and agriculture are thought to date from about 5,000 years ago (Jackson, 1995), although early archaic habitation evidence has been found in multiple locations on the island (Ritchie 1963).
Rossville points; a distinct type of arrowhead which defines a Native American cultural period which spans the Archaic period to the Early Woodland period, dating from approximately 1500 to 100 BC., are named for the Rossville section of Staten Island where they were first recognized, having been found in the vicinity of the old Rossville Post Office building.
At the time of European contact the island was inhabited by the Raritan band of the Unamidivision of the Lenape. The Lenape who spoke Lenape (language) one of the Algonquian languages called Staten Island Aquehonga Manacknong part of the Lenape homeland known as Lenapehoking. The Lenape were known to the Europeans as the “Delaware” because they inhabitated both shores of the Delaware River.
The island was laced with foot trails, one of which followed the south side of the ridge near the course of present day Richmond Road and Amboy Road. The Lenape did not live in fixed encampments, but moved seasonally, using slash and burn agriculture. Shellfish was a staple of their diet, including the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) which was abundant in the waterways throughout the present day New York City region. Evidence of their habitation can still be seen in the form of shell middens along the shore in the Tottenville section, where finding oyster shells larger than twelve inches (305 mm) is not uncommon.
Burial Ridge; a Lenape burial ground located on a bluff overlooking Raritan Bay in what is today the Tottenville section of Staten Island is the largest pre-European burial ground in New York City. Bodies have been reported unearthed at Burial Ridge during various periods in the nineteenth century from 1858 onward. After conducting independent research which included unearthing bodies interred at the site,ethnologist and archaeologist, George H. Pepper, was contracted in 1895 to conduct paid archaeological research at Burial Ridge by theAmerican Museum of Natural History. The burial ground today is unmarked and lies within the confines of Conference House Park.
The first recorded European contact with the island was in 1524 by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who in the employ of theFrench crown, sailed through The Narrows on the French ship La Dauphine and anchored for one night.
In 1609, the English explorer Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch sailed into Upper New York Bay on his ship the Half Moon. Staaten Eylandt (literally “States Island”) was named in honor of the Dutch parliament known as the Staten-Generaal,
The first permanent Dutch settlement of the New Netherland colony was made on Governor’s Island in 1624, which had been used as a trading camp by them for over a decade before. In 1626 the colony transferred to the island of Manhattan, and was newly designated as the capital of New Netherland. Staaten Eylandt nevertheless remained uncolonized by the Dutch for many decades. From 1639 to 1655, the Dutch made three separate attempts to establish a permanent settlement on the island, but each time the settlement was destroyed in the conflicts between the Dutch and the local tribes. In 1661, the first permanent Dutch settlement was established at Oude Dorp(Dutch for “Old Village”), just south of the Narrows near South Beach, by a small group of Dutch, Walloon, and Huguenot families. Today, the last vestige of Oude Dorp exists as the present-day neighborhood of Old Town, adjacent to Old Town Road.