"I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man-made visible.... Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body." - Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
Of all the great cities in the world, few personify their country like New York City. As America's largest city and best known immigration gateway into the country, the Big Apple represents the beauty, diversity, and sheer strength of the United States, a global financial center that has enticed people chasing the "American Dream" for centuries. Given that history, it's fitting that the Empire State Building is the city's most famous building, a soaring skyscraper that has been one of the tallest buildings in the world for nearly a century and the most recognizable landmark in New York.
The Empire State Building was constructed using the art deco style, which was trendy during the era. It had been used for other skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building, but that's where the comparisons end. At the time, the Empire State Building was unprecedented in almost every aspect of its creation. With a race for dizzying heights underway, ground was broken on the Empire State Building on St. Patrick's Day 1930. The ceremony marking its completion would come just a little more than a year later.