Empire State Building Observation Deck

Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!

An Iconic Structure

The Empire State Building stands tall in midtown Manhattan and was once the tallest building in the world. The developer completed the tower in a record-breaking 13 months. He used groundbreaking assembly-line techniques and 3400 workmen to accomplish this feat.

The Empire State Building opened in 1931 on the site of the original Waldorf-Astoria hotel. The spire was added to the plans after construction began to prevent the competing Chrysler building from eclipsing its height.

The Art-Deco building is one of the best known skyscrapers in New York City. It has appeared in hundreds of movies and TV shows, starting with King Kong in 1933. It achieved National Historic Landmark status in 1986.

Sunrise from the Observation Deck

In the Spring of 2021, New York City was slowly starting to open back up from Covid19 lockdowns. The morning news program mentioned that the Empire State Building would be holding limited sunrise events on a few Saturdays in April.

With my special ticket in hand, I traveled into the city in the wee hours of the morning. Along with a handful of other excited people, I followed a friendly security guard through the ornate lobby and a series of elevators to the observation deck. This was a longer process than usual to allow for social distancing.

Once up top, I roamed the perimeter of the building, looking down on the city below. We hoped for a break in the light drizzle and we got it just in time for the sun to show itself on the Eastern horizon. It wasn’t the most colorful sunrise I’d ever seen, but I was grateful to witness it, nonetheless.

I rode the elevator back down to the lobby and toured the impressive museum there.

Empire State Posts

Location: 20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: 1931
Date of my visit: April 10, 2021

10 thoughts on “Empire State Building Observation Deck

  1. Nemorino

    Going up at dawn sounds like a great idea, though I probably wouldn’t do it since I’m not an early riser. My own visit to the Empire State Building was closer to dusk and was — over half a century ago, when I was a student in NYC.

      1. Yes, I saw this article. Pretty much every office building in Manhattan is having the same issues. After I came down from the observation deck, I couldn’t find anyplace open for a cup of coffee. There used to be multiple delis/restaurants on nearly every block in midtown. All them were either boarded up or dark. No office workers/tourists is bad for every business. It’s going to be a different city when/if things get back to normal.

  2. Dear Theresa,

    This is on my bucket list to revisit since I walked this neighborhood months ago. Thanks for the inspiration.


    Justin Watrel, Blogger

    1. The elevator ride was fairly short and broken up into two legs. The first, longer ascent has a video playing on the ceiling that make you feel as if you are rising into the open air as the building is erected around you, so probably helps with claustrophobia (if that’s what bothers you) I found it an entertaining part of the experience.

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