Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

11 Structures that Define America


2
The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is the crown jewel of the New York City skyline. Designed by William Lamb, the art deco structure was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1931, soaring 1,454 feet from the ground to the top of its lightning rod. More than 3,000 workers took less than 14 months to build the structure, with the framework erected at a pace of 4.5 stories per week. Today, visitors still marvel at the breathtaking views visible from the observatory, which on a clear day offers glimpses of the five surrounding states.