Engineers carved a hole in the Empire State Building to make room for a 20-foot replica
Randy Scott Slavin
- The Empire State Building is known for its panoramic views of New York City, but visitors don't always have the right vantage point to appreciate the architecture.
- A new observatory on the building's second floor celebrates the construction of the skyscraper, which was completed in 1931.
- At the observatory's entrance, a 20-feet model helps visitors see the handiwork that has kept the building sturdy for decades.
- To move the model into the building, engineers had to carve a hole in the second level.
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On a cloudless day, visitors at the Empire State Building can see up to 80 miles of skyline from their vantage point in Midtown Manhattan. It's one of the biggest draws of the iconic skyscraper.
Now a team of designers, developers, engineers, and architects are encouraging visitors to look inward with a new observatory that opened on July 29.
Read more: 14 weird facts that you probably didn't know about the Empire State Building
At the observatory's entrance stands a 20-foot model of the building that straddles two floors. To get the model to fit inside, engineers had to carve a hole in the second level.
While peeling back the layers of the structure, they unearthed some treasures from its past.
The Empire State Building was erected in 1931 in the middle of the Great Depression. Engineers say it's an impeccably constructed skyscraper.
Thousands of workers toiled daily to bring the building to life, with some of them facing safety risks.
Almost 90 years later, a model at the observatory's entrance reveals the intricacy of the building, which has more than 6,500 windows.
At 20 feet high, the model was taller than the first floor of the building, so engineers had to carve a hole in the floor above.
They also chipped away at concrete columns to reveal the original steel beams.
The observatory features an old elevator system that used to control the speed of an elevator car. Original visitors paid $1 to ride the elevators to the observation decks.
As an older skyscraper, the Empire State Building is undergoing constant renovation, but it was also built to last.