46
Global
Height rank
Empire State Building
New York City
Height

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

1
To Tip:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest point of the building, irrespective of material or function of the highest element (i.e., including antennae, flagpoles, signage and other functional-technical equipment).

443.2 m / 1,454 ft
2
Architectural:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

381 m / 1,250 ft
3
Occupied:

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the highest occupied floor within the building.

373.1 m / 1,224 ft
1 2 3 Empire State Building Outline
Floors

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

102
Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

1
Height 381 m / 1,250 ft
Floors 102
Official Name

The current legal building name.

Empire State Building
Other Names

Other names the building has commonly been known as, including former names, common informal names, local names, etc.

350 5th Avenue
Type

CTBUH collects data on two major types of tall structures: 'Buildings' and 'Telecommunications / Observation Towers.' A 'Building' is a structure where at least 50% of the height is occupied by usable floor area. A 'Telecommunications / Observation Tower' is a structure where less than 50% of the structure's height is occupied by usable floor area. Only 'Buildings' are eligible for the CTBUH 'Tallest Buildings' lists.

Building
Status
Completed
Architecturally Topped Out
Structurally Topped Out
Under Construction
Proposed
On Hold
Never Completed
Vision
Competition Entry
Canceled
Proposed Renovation
Under Renovation
Renovated
Under Demolition
Demolished
Completed, 1931
Country

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of Country, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

City

The CTBUH follows the United Nations's definition of City, and thus uses the lists and codes established by that organization.

Address
Postal Code
10001
Function

A single-function tall building is defined as one where 85% or more of its usable floor area is dedicated to a single usage. Thus a building with 90% office floor area would be said to be an "office" building, irrespective of other minor functions it may also contain.

A mixed-use tall building contains two or more functions (or uses), where each of the functions occupy a significant proportion of the tower's total space. Support areas such as car parks and mechanical plant space do not constitute mixed-use functions. Functions are denoted on CTBUH "Tallest Building" lists in descending order, e.g., "hotel/office" indicates hotel function above office function.

office
Structural Material

Steel
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from steel. Note that a building of steel construction with a floor system of concrete planks or concrete slab on top of steel beams is still considered a “steel” structure as the concrete elements are not acting as the primary structure.

Reinforced Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from concrete which has been cast in place and utilizes steel reinforcement bars.

Precast Concrete
Both the main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning system are constructed from steel reinforced concrete which has been precast as individual components and assembled together on-site.

Mixed-Structure
Utilizes distinct systems (e.g. steel, concrete, timber), one on top of the other. For example, a steel/concrete indicates a steel structural system located on top of a concrete structural system, with the opposite true of concrete/steel.

Composite
A combination of materials (e.g. steel, concrete, timber) are used together in the main structural elements. Examples include buildings which utilize: steel columns with a floor system of reinforced concrete beams; a steel frame system with a concrete core; concrete-encased steel columns; concrete-filled steel tubes; etc. Where known, the CTBUH database breaks out the materials used in a composite building’s core, columns, and floor spanning separately.

steel
LEED Gold
Official Website
Height

Height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flag poles or other functional-technical equipment. This measurement is the most widely utilized and is employed to define the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) rankings of the "World's Tallest Buildings."

Architectural
381 m / 1,250 ft
To Tip
443.23 m / 1,454 ft
Occupied
373.08 m / 1,224 ft
Observatory
373.08 m / 1,224 ft
Floors Above Ground

The number of floors above ground should include the ground floor level and be the number of main floors above ground, including any significant mezzanine floors and major mechanical plant floors. Mechanical mezzanines should not be included if they have a significantly smaller floor area than the major floors below. Similarly, mechanical penthouses or plant rooms protruding above the general roof area should not be counted. Note: CTBUH floor counts may differ from published accounts, as it is common in some regions of the world for certain floor levels not to be included (e.g., the level 4, 14, 24, etc. in Hong Kong).

102
Floors Below Ground

The number of floors below ground should include all major floors located below the ground floor level.

1
# of Elevators

Number of Elevators refers to the total number of elevator cars (not shafts) contained within a particular building (including public, private and freight elevators).

73
Tower GFA

Tower GFA refers to the total gross floor area within the tower footprint, not including adjoining podiums, connected buildings or other towers within the development.

208,879 m² / 2,248,355 ft²
Rankings
#
46
Tallest in the World
#
8
Tallest in North America
#
8
Tallest in United States
#
6
Tallest in New York City
#
17
Tallest Office Building in the World
#
5
Tallest Office Building in North America
#
5
Tallest Office Building in United States
#
4
Tallest Office Building in New York City
#
3
Tallest Steel Building in the World
#
3
Tallest Steel Building in North America
#
3
Tallest Steel Building in United States
#
2
Tallest Steel Building in New York City
Construction Schedule
1930

Construction Start

1931

Completed

2009

Retrofit Start

Owner

Current

Empire State Realty Trust; Qatar Investment Authority

Past

W&H Properties
Developer
Alfred E. Smith; John J. Raskob
Architect
Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates
Structural Engineer
H.G. Balcom & Associates

(not specified)

Post and McCord
MEP Engineer
Strong & Jones Engineers
Contractor
Starrett Brothers and Ekin

Vertical Transportation

Retrofit Companies Involved

Developer
Empire State Realty Trust
Structural Engineer

Access

ColeNYC

Energy Concept

Johnson Controls

Marketing

Wordsearch

Preservation

CANY

Sustainability

Rocky Mountain Institute

Aluminium

Allen Architectural Metals

CTBUH Initiatives

Videos

17 October 2016 | New York City

This presentation outlined X-Information Modeling or XIM, a method of data-driven decision-making for the design of tall buildings. Developed over its application on more than...

Research

01 September 2018

Kyoung Sun Moon, Yale University School of Architecture

Tall buildings which began from about 40 m tall office towers in the late 19th century have evolved into mixed-use megatall towers over 800 m....

Global News

19 October 2020 | New York City

New York City’s skyline is forever adapting, thrusting ever higher upwards as a jostling amalgam of evolving styles and forms. Although surpassed in height by...

About Empire State Building

As the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1971, the Empire State Building is the ancestor of all supertall skyscrapers and makes a lasting impression in the minds of all who have stood beneath, or atop, this international icon. Among the accolades and achievements that this tower claims, perhaps the most impressive is that it took less than 14 months to construct, a timeline that is unimaginable for a building of similar height today. Marveling at the ability of steel-framed buildings to support added weight, architects tested the material at a supreme scale. The art deco style of the building is appropriately capped with an ornamental spire, one that urban legend claims was designed as an anchorage point for dirigibles, but was actually built to ensure the building would be taller than the Chrysler Building. With its thousands of programmable LED lights, it has become one of the most memorable features of the building.

As part of its total redevelopment for 21st Century companies, in 2009 a $106 million energy efficiency retrofit was launched, which has transformed it into one of the most sustainable buildings in the world of any age. These upgrades realize a yearly savings of $4.4 million in energy and operational costs. The retrofit ranged from upgrades to efficient MEP systems to the reconstruction of all 6,514 windows into units that have 400% the thermal performance of normal dual pane windows; from the installation of redundant fiber optics building-wide to the creation of new public areas and amenities; and more. The Empire State Building remains a ground-breaking office property in the national and global real estate market. It was the tallest LEED certified building in the United States when it was awarded the designation in 2011. Not once, but twice has this building shown the world new possibilities in the tall building world: first, with its achievement in sheer height and speed of construction, and second, with its rebirth as a sustainable building. It will continue to be a prime example of how a world-class tower can continue to maintain its iconic status in a changing world.

Quick Facts

  • Tallest building in the world 1931 - 1972. Preceded by the Chrysler Building and surpassed by One World Trade Center

  • On July 28, 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into the north side of the building between the 79th and 80th floors, killing 14 people.

  • Featured in dozens of films, most notably; "King Kong" in 1933 and 2005.

  • It took just under 15 months from January 1930 to May 1931 to construct.

17 October 2016 | New York City

This presentation outlined X-Information Modeling or XIM, a method of data-driven decision-making for the design of tall buildings. Developed over its application on more than...

26 October 2015 | New York City

This presentation underscores the extraordinary commitment that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. has made to establish the Empire State Building as one of the most...

26 October 2015 | New York City

Anthony Malkin of Empire State Realty Trust is interviewed by Chris Bentley during the 2015 CTBUH New York Conference at the Grand Hyatt New York....

19 September 2012 | New York City

The existing building stock in some regions accounts for nearly as much energy consumption and carbon emissions as the transportation and industrial sectors combined. Existing...

22 October 2009 | New York City

Dan Probst of Jones Lang LaSalle is interviewed by Jeff Herzer during the 2009 CTBUH Chicago Conference at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. Dan talks...

03 March 2008 | New York City

Kyoung Sun Moon from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign discussed stiffness-based design methodologies for tall building structures at the CTBUH 8th World Congress in...

01 September 2018

Kyoung Sun Moon, Yale University School of Architecture

Tall buildings which began from about 40 m tall office towers in the late 19th century have evolved into mixed-use megatall towers over 800 m....

26 October 2015

Anthony Malkin, Empire State Realty Trust

This paper underscores the extraordinary commitment that Empire State Realty Trust, Inc. has made to establish the Empire State Building as one of the most...

22 October 2015

CTBUH Research

A timeline of skyscraper completions in New York uncannily resembles the boom and bust cycles of the United States in the 20th and early 21st...

24 August 2015

CTBUH Research

Perhaps no element of a tall building is more closely related to the pure pleasure of standing high in the sky and taking in the...

01 November 2013

Dario Trabucco & Fava Pablo, Università IUAV di Venezia

Crumbling façades, asbestos, and outdated elevators are often cited as reasons to tear down tall buildings and create new skyscrapers. However, renovating a tall building...

27 January 2012

Adrian Smith, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture; Paul Beitler, Beitler Real Estate Services LLC

In 1990, only 11 buildings in the world could be counted as a “supertall” (defined as a building over 300 meters tall), and all but...

19 October 2020 | New York City

New York City’s skyline is forever adapting, thrusting ever higher upwards as a jostling amalgam of evolving styles and forms. Although surpassed in height by...

25 July 2019 | New York City

Excavation work has commenced for 29th & 5th, Bjarke Ingels Group‘s proposed skyscraper at 3 West 29th Street in NoMad, New York City. Excavators, piling...

19 April 2019 | New York City

New York City is about to embark on an ambitious plan to fight climate change that would force thousands of large buildings, like the Empire...

21 January 2019 | New York City

For decades, the New York City skyline was dominated by one building, the 1,250-foot-tall (381-meter) Empire State Building. But 17 “supertall” skyscrapers — defined as...

13 October 2016

The Council is pleased to announce the Top Company Rankings for numerous disciplines as derived from the list of projects appearing in 100 of the World’s Tallest Buildings.

28 October 2015

CTBUH 2015 delegates toured the Empire State Building as the most iconic skyscraper and its retrofit into the today's environment-aware society.

26 October 2015

The reception provided attendees an opportunity to meet and network with their fellow delegates in the incredible setting of the 80th Floor of the historic Empire State Building.

17 September 2015

Warm Weather Spaces Walking Tours 2015

The CTBUH Urban Habitat / Urban Design Committee organized guided walking tours of 16 cities around the globe, focusing on urban habitats around tall buildings.

4 October 2011

New York City Scrapers

New York’s dramatic skyline, over a century in the making, has for years been the envy of cities around the world. From the very birth of the tall building typology, New York has been at the forefront of the scene.

16 December 2009

Height: The History of Measuring Tall Buildings

This article describes some of the events which took place in the Council's long, and sometimes complex, history of measuring tall buildings.