Learn about the history of the Empire State Building in New York with iMinds Travel's insightful fast knowledge series. The Empire State Building towers above the midtown district of New York City. Its solitary spire now stands out on the city skyline, no longer matched by the twin towers of the World Trade Centre destroyed in 2001. It is once again the tallest building in the city. But it is no longer the tallest in the world, a title it held for an unmatched 40 years. Its quiet elegance reflects the functionality of its form as well as the distinctive Art Deco style popular at the time of its construction. It is a symbol of American commercial ambition and it is a symbol of the American Dream.
The Empire State Building was born out of ambition. It was competition among commercial giants that led to its inception. In 1929, the Chrysler building was the tallest in the world. John Jacob Raskob, a self-made millionaire and one-time Vice President of General Motors, wanted to go one better.