- Historic Sites
“a Chase Up Into The Sky”
With Al Smith its No. 1 booster, the Empire State Building rose amid the rubble of the Depression. Is its glory at an end?
October 1968 | Volume 19, Issue 6
As New York buildings go, the Empire State is no longer young; at thirty-seven, it is older than the Waldorf-Astoria was when it was knocked down in “the march of progress.” The great post-World War II building boom has provided New York with a great many newer and shinier structures, all equipped with the latest competitive advantages. Currently there is an enormous demand for office space, and the Empire State prospers; but at the next ebb of the economic tide it may not be the last to find itself unfilled.
Even more ominous is the prospect, at last, of a taller building. The projected downtown World Trade Center proposes to shoot two towers—each 10,000 feet square—1,350 feet into the sky. Should the Trade Center take over as the site of television transmission—and the distinct possibility exists not because of its height but because of its greater roominess at the top- Empire State will have lost the glorious title of the world’s tallest building. It will have taken its place, however reluctantly, as the latest in a long line of has-beens. The day of its reign will have ended—but what a day it was.