history of the empire state building

History, Restaurants

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Today, the only thing you’ll be spending money on when you travel to the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building is the $50+ Observation Deck ticket. But back in the ’30s, it was a much more glamorous experience, complete with the Empire State Observatory Fountain and Tea Room.

The New York Public Library recently digitized 18,000 of its 40,000 restaurant menus, which range from 1851 to 2008, including this one from the Empire State Building in 1933. As you’ll see, sandwiches (ham, peanut butter, and tomato and lettuce, to name a few) were a mere 25 cents, the same price as their six types of ice cream sundaes and ten flavored sodas. In terms of actual food, your only choice other than a sandwich would’ve been a pretty blah-sounding salad, some pastries, or a selection of “candy and cigarettes.”

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Featured Story

Architecture, Features, History

The Wild and Dark History of the Empire State Building

By Rebecca Paul, Fri, August 29, 2014

Known for its record-breaking height and sophisticated art deco style, the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s most recognized landmarks. While the building is often used in popular culture as light-natured fodder—such as the opening back drop to your favorite cookie-cutter rom-com or the romanic meeting spot for star-crossed lovers—the building’s past is far more ominous than many of us realize. From failed suicide attempts to accidental plane crashes, its history casts a vibrant line-up of plot-lines and characters spanning the past ninety years.

Read about the dark side of the empire state building

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