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About the Empire State Building

Empire State Building History

Looking for things to do in New York City with kids? Wondering how tall is the Empire State Building? One of the most popular things to do in New York City with kids is visiting the Empire State Building. The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Originally the location was the site of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel before it was demolished to build what was then the most ambitious building project in the world.

While the site was purchased in 1928 by the Bethlehem Engineering Corporation, construction of the Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. It only took one year and forty-five days to complete the construction of the Empire State Building. President Hoover officially opened the building on May 1, 1931.

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How Tall is the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building used to be the world’s tallest building from 1931 to 1972. The World Trade Center became the tallest building in New York City until 1970 when the World Trade Center was built. Sadly, following the World Trade Center’s collapse in the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Empire State Building once again became the highest skyscraper in New York City.

So, how tall is the Empire State Building? Currently it is the 49th tallest building in the world with a height of 1,454 feet including its antenna. It is only 1,250 feet if you don’t include the antenna. The tallest building in New York City is now the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. The Empire State Building is the seventh tallest building in New York City.

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Why is the Empire State Building So Popular?

Since the Empire State Building was, at the time, the world’s tallest building, it quickly became a hot tourist attraction bringing visitors from all over the world. The first movie to feature the Empire State Building was in the 1933 version of King Kong. This became the first of many moments in pop culture that would display the Empire State Building.

The 222 foot tall and 60-ton antenna was added in 1950 so that more stations could use the building’s antenna. This antenna also increased the height of the Empire State Building to 1,454 feet.

In 1981, the Empire State Building was officially declared a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Hooray! Soon after in 1986, it was also recognized by the National Parks Services as a National Historic Landmark.

The Empire State Building before, the Empire State Building has a beautiful Art Deco style architecture, is incredibly tall, and has an observation deck that is open to the public, which makes it a popular tourist attraction. At 102 stories, the Empire State Building was the first in the world to exceed 100 floors and this helped propel it to icon status in the United States.

So even though there are taller buildings in New York City, the Empire State Building has an iconic status that makes it almost synonymous with its city. The Empire State Building has also been dubbed “America’s favorite building” by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building has also been featured in pop culture in many movies, books, television shows, video games, and more.

It is also one of the best things to do in New York City with kids with its two observatories and two exhibits. No need to worry about keeping quiet and following a tour guide since you can use the self-guided audio tour and the free on-site guest Wi-Fi.

Before You Visit New York City

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If you’re like me and you love discounts, then make sure you follow these steps BEFORE you go to New York City.

Before you get on a plane or hop in the car for a roadtrip to New York City, make sure you pick up a city pass for massive discounts on popular attractions in New York City. Three of the most popular ones are the New York Pass, The Sightseeing Pass – NYC, and CityPASS – NYC.

If you live near New York City or perhaps you only have time to visit one attraction, then you are better off purchasing discounted tickets to the Empire State Building through Groupon, Living Social, and Viator.

You can also read reviews and look at visitors’ photos at Tripadvisor.

Check out the official website of the Empire State Building for more information.

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About the Free Worksheets

The FREE worksheets for this field trip review the following concepts:

  • History of the Empire State Building
  • Facts about the Empire State Building
  • Read comprehension with a crossword puzzle
  • Handwriting with a mini-book
  • Sight words

Download the Free First Grade Worksheets

Free PDF Worksheets: Empire State Building

Free PDF Answer Key: Empire State Building Answer Key

These free worksheets for kids are free for personal, non-commercial use only.

Suggested Follow-Up Activities for the Empire State Building

Here are some related follow-up activities or other items that may be helpful and/or fun before or after your field trip.

  1. Build the LEGO version of the Empire State Building!
    • We are huge LEGO fans in our home. My children love building with their LEGO and my husband collects them as a hobby. What is more fun than actually building a LEGO version of the Empire State Building after learning about it or visiting it? This is a must-do in my opinion.
  2. Build a 3D puzzle of the Empire State Building.
    • 3D puzzles are always so fun to build. My family members may disagree since they’re massive LEGO fans, but I think 3D puzzles are fun too! One benefit is that it’s way more affordable than the LEGO version of the Empire State Building, so if you’re not too crazy about LEGO, this could be a great alternative.
  3. Build your own skyscraper with a STEM building kit.
    • I was thinking about what kinds of activities might be fun and educational after learning about the Empire State Building. Engineering is obviously a great topic to explore afterwards, so this STEM building kit would be great to use to teach engineering concepts. Try letting your kids building their own skyscraper! They could model it after the Empire State Building, another famous skyscraper, or just come up with their very own skyscraper.
  4. Read a book about the rise of skyscrapers in the United States.
    • This book has great reviews on Amazon and is an engaging book about the rise of skyscrapers in the U.S. and the effect of the Empire State Building in construction today. This book is recommended for the 3rd to 7th grade levels, so it may be a bit difficult for a first grader to read. This doesn’t mean you should pass on the book though. We love read-alouds in our family and usually it’s with chapter books instead of picture books.

Suggested Videos for the Empire State Building

Here are some videos that you might find helpful before or after your field trip.

  1. To the TOP of the Empire State Building! by Elementary Explorers
    • Check out the Empire State Building with the YouTubers behind Elementary Explorers. They will take you up to explore the various exhibits and the observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors.
      
  2. Empire State Building Virtual Tour by AttractionTix
    • If you want to see the inside of the Empire State Building before you go to New York City or if perhaps you want to do a virtual field trip, this YouTube video will take you through New York’s most iconic skyscraper in less than three minutes.

Done with the Empire State Building?

Take a look at the other free resources that we offer.

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