Viewer, top of the Empire State Building, New York, USA, 2005.
© Richard Bosomworth / Science & Society
The Empire State Building is visited by more than 117 million people who come to marvel at the 80-mile view into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Built in 1930, the Empire State was then considered the largest commercial venture and investment ever. Its facade is composed of more than 200,000 cubic feet of Indiana limestone and granite and utilises several setbacks to offset the optical distortion of its 102-story height. Construction took just over 18 months and was undertaken in the midst of the Depression.