Archivist update: Empire State Building turns 85

On May 1, 2016, the Empire State Building marks 85 years since it officially opened on May 1, 1931, with the press of a button by President Herbert Hoover in Washington, D.C to turn on the lights. At the time that the building opened, it was the tallest skyscraper in the world. In its 85-year history, the Empire State Building has weathered economic hardship, world war, labor strikes, murder, terrorist fears and even its own plane crash.

Below is a selection of photos from our archive of the Empire State Building through the years.


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