Iconic building opened 79 years agoNew York, N.Y. -- On May 1, 1931 President Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C. turning on the lights of the now iconic Empire State Building and officially opening it to the world.
Rising 1,250 ft. above the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street, the Empire State Building is an Art Deco marvel. At 102 stories, it's the tallest building in New York City, an icon in film and history, and has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. From the 86th-floor observation deck, you have an amazing 360-degree view of the city, and can even access a smaller deck on the 102nd floor.
It's been a tradition on St Patrick's Day for years, but now the Empire State Building is green year round! But it's not only about green lighting. In April 2009, Mayor Bloomberg announced an innovative plan to cut energy expenses at the 102-story structure. The results will be a more environmentally-friendly building and an expected savings of $4.4 million in annual energy costs for its owners. Even better, renovations will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 metric tons during the next 15 years - equal to the annual emissions of 17,500 cars.
The list of upgrades includes replacing all of the skyscraper's 6,514 windows with a type of insulated glass that reduces summer heat load and winter heat loss. Other changes are planned for the building's insulation, ventilation, chilled water and lighting systems. Work has begun, with upgrades to the building systems expected to be completed in 2010. All of the building's green projects are expected to be finished by 2013.
The Empire State Building is just one of New York State's iconic Green destinations. For more green travel ideas and destinations, visit www.iloveny.com/greenheart