The above photos show workers on the structural framework of
the Empire State Building before its completion.
Excavation of the site began on January 22, 1930, and construction
on the building itself started symbolically on March 17—St. Patrick’s
Day. It was officially opened on May 1, 1931 when U.S. President
Herbert Hoover turned on the building’s lights with the push of a
button from Washington, D.C. The building is currently undergoing
a $550 million renovation.