Lights tonight:
Pastel Fades
In honor of Easter
full schedule

Dare to Dream 80th Floor Exhibit

Iconic Empire State Building Enriches Visitor Experience with New Documentary-Style Exhibit on 80th Floor

Permanent Installation Chronicles the Engineering and Construction of the World's Most Famous Office Building

In its 80th anniversary year, the Empire State Building unveiled a new, permanent exhibit that captures the global icon's astonishing history, engineering and construction. Curated by Carol Willis of New York City's Skyscraper Museum, the installation is located on the 80th floor of the World's Most Famous Office Building and further enriches and enhances each visitor's Observatory experience.

Experience It For Yourself
Already have your ticket to the Observatory?

You're all set. The Dare to Dream Exhibit is free to all regular admission guests of the ESB Observatories.

If you need a ticket to the ESB Observatory, you may purchase your ticket online.

Anthony E. Malkin, Empire State Building Company, stated, "As part of our more than $550 million Empire State ReBuilding program, we have completely upgraded our Observatory experience. From our brilliantly restored art deco masterpiece lobby, to this celebration of the unprecedented and unmatched feats of engineering and construction of the Empire State Building, we have created a totally new offering to our millions of annual visitors." He added, "The new 80th floor exhibit's homage to the pioneering work of the architects, builders, and laborers of the day adds to our $2 million, multi-media exhibit about the groundbreaking work on energy efficiency performed at the building and offers educational value for every visitor."

With content from The Skyscraper Museum's archives, the exhibit illustrates three main themes:

  • Speed: Construction took only 11 months from the setting of the tower's first steel columns on April 7, 1930, to the completed building by March 31, 1931–a full month before the official opening ceremonies on May 1, 1931.
  • Scale: Gigantic in every dimension, the record-breaking tower required immense amounts of materials and equipment to build what is still one of the tallest and largest man made structures in the world
  • Steel: The building's steel frame was intricately designed with remarkable proportions, and all aspects of its construction remain extraordinary, even today

The exhibit shares numerous remarkable facts as well as reproductions of nostalgic photos and mementos of the more than 3,400 workers who helped create history. Documents include stunning period photographs, architectural sketches and renderings, construction notes, and daily bookkeeping documents presented on a series of photomurals, banners, two panels and seven stands. In a unique twist, the exhibit uses the windows of the building to show views from 1931, creating a period look unimaginable unless seen.

Empire State Building visitors — with a regular admission ticket — can view the exhibit en route to the world-famous 86th and 102nd floor Observatories. The Observatory is open daily, 365 days a year, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the "World's Most Famous Office Building. With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper's robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world's most beloved attractions and is the region's #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.esbnyc.com, www.facebook.com/EmpireStateBuilding or @EmpireStateBldg.

ESB Exhibit in the News

WABC-TV features Empire State Building's new documentary-style exhibit on the 80th floor, chronicling the engineering and construction of the world's most famous office building.
Watch now

ESB in the News

10 Most Photographed Places on Earth

Scientists at Cornell University recently discovered the Empire State Building is the most photographed landmark on Earth!
Read more

ESB After Dark

Join us every Thursday through Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for romantic city views and a live saxophonist on the 86th Floor Observatory.

Visitor Tips

Whether you are going to the top for the first time or if you've made the trip before, we want to make your visit as easy as possible.
Read more

Gift Shop

Empire: The Store features upscale gifts, ESB-branded apparel, crystal glassware, toys and more.
Read more