For 41 years it held the title of the world’s tallest building.  At 102 stories and 1250 feet high – add another 200 feet if you include the lightning rod on top – the Empire State Building brought pride and sense of hope to New York City and to the country during the Depression when many were unemployed and prospects for getting a job looked bleak.  Construction of the building itself was symbolic because it employed so many people - as many as 34-hundred workers.  And it went up quickly.  It took just over a year to build and under budget at a cost of 40-million dollars.  There were some periods during construction when it went up an incredible four and a half stories a week. 

The idea for the Empire State Building began as a competition between Walter Chrysler of the Chrysler Corporation and John Jakob Raskob of General Motors, to see who could build the tallest building.  Chrysler had already begun work on the famous Chrysler Building.  In response Raskob put together a group of investors to raise the money to get his building up.

The Rand Building in Buffalo is very similar to the Empire State Building.  The Rand Building was completed in 1929 and at the time it was the tallest building in Buffalo.  Some historians say it was the inspiration for the Empire State Building – just a taller version.

In 1972, the Empire State Building lost its title as world's tallest building to the World Trade Center, which itself held the title for only a year.  Currently, Burj Kalifa in Dubai holds the title of world’s tallest structure.  It’s 26-hundred-84 feet tall with 162 floors. 

The CN Tower in Toronto had been the world’s tallest structure until 2007 when construction of Burj Kalifa surpassed it.

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