$550 million capital improvements program contemporizes an international
<p>NEW YORK, <chron>Sept. 23</chron> /CNW/ -- The Empire State Building, the world's most famous office building, is undergoing a more than <money>$550 million</money> upgrade program to reinvent the iconic landmark by restoring and recreating its Art Deco grandeur and adding state-of-the-art enhancements.</p>
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<p>"When W&H Properties took over the management of the building in <chron>August 2006</chron>, we decided to recreate the Empire State Building as a trophy pre-war property for better credit tenants, and to elevate the brand as a worldwide standard of excellence," said <person>Anthony Malkin</person>, the third generation of his family to be involved with the building. "What we are doing is transformative, exceeding the expectations of New York City's office tenants, brokers, and the millions who visit our world-famous Observatory annually. The visible result of our transformation of this international icon is creating incomparable experiences for all who come to the building."</p>
The Empire State ReBuilding includes:
-- A complete restoration and recreation of the famous Art Deco lobby,
long hidden by 1960s "modernization," along with special entrances and
new traffic flow to separate office tenants and their visitors from
tourists visiting the building's observatories.
-- Renovation and air conditioning of all common-areas including
-- Renovation of the entire Observatory experience, including the 86th
102nd floors, with Art Deco upgrades, as well as enhanced visitor
queuing and retail areas on the 80th floor.
-- Extending the building's "green" initiatives to provide a healthier
environment for tenants, visitors and the community.
-- Installation of state-of-the-art technology throughout the building.
-- Upgrading the HVAC (air-conditioning/heating) building-wide.
-- Ground-breaking work in integrated energy efficiency retrofits,
resulting in a 38% energy savings with a three year payback.
-- Waterproofing the building's stone facade.
-- Reconfiguring the tower's market-dominant broadcast facility to
accommodate digital broadcast technology.
<p>After nearly two years of research -- led by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners (BBB) and project manager Jones Lang LaSalle -- the restoration team of architects, historians, artists and specialty craftsmen developed the historically-accurate renovation plans, restoring the lobby to the original architects' -- Shreve, Lamb and Harmon -- design intent, with modern enhancements including state-of-the-art lighting for a 21st century building. The team was guided by historic documents, photos, original design sketches, blueprints and existing architectural elements.</p>
<p>As part of the Landmarks Preservation Commission-approved revitalization plan, historic features and finishes and distinctive architectural details, which had been obscured by alterations over time, are being restored or recreated.</p>
<p>Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the Empire State Building was built in just one year and 45 days during the Great Depression, a testament to the industrial American spirit. Medallions inlaid throughout the lobby pay honor to the various trade unions and craftsmen that put their mark on the building, both during its original construction in 1930 and throughout its restoration today.</p>
<p>When the building was first constructed, the lobby featured an ornate ceiling mural that paid tribute to the inspiration and opportunity of the Machine Age. The mural depicted an interpretive celestial sky -- rendered in exquisite aluminum leaf with gold glazes -- with sunbursts and stars that resembled industrial gears and wheels. In the 1960s, the mural was covered and irreparably damaged when a then-modern acrylic-panel dropped ceiling with florescent lighting fixtures was installed in an effort to make the building architecturally modern. New York City-based EverGreene Architectural Arts, Inc., world-renowned preservation artists, has meticulously re-created the original ceiling mural design, which serves as the focal point throughout the main lobby. This is one of the most significant landmark ceiling restorations in the history of <location>New York City</location>.</p>
<p>In addition to the ceiling mural, new lighting and updated design guidelines for ground-level retail tenants serve to enhance the visitor's overall experience. Original lighting concepts, levels and historic fixtures, which were lost over time, have been restored, featuring energy efficient fixtures and bulbs that will adjust according to lighting needs and New York power grid demands.</p>
<p>Two new Art Deco chandeliers that were part of the original lobby design blueprint, but never constructed, have been interpreted by Rambusch, the fourth-generation firm that created the original mural for the Empire State Building; they have been installed above the pedestrian bridges on the 33rd and 34th Street corridors.</p>
<p>The original masons used exquisite international marbles throughout the lobby to create a unique example of "bookmatching," in which front and back slices of stone from the same block are placed to mirror each other to highlight the natural veining for artistic purposes. Pieces of the building's original marble were removed or damaged over the years, so BBB historians searched the world and presented countless samples to <person>Anthony Malkin</person>, who personally chose the replacements for the lost material to match as closely as possible.</p>
<p>Thoughtful consideration was given to upgrading the building's interior and exterior retail storefronts. The goal was to extol the past design while identifying new standards for modern use. All retail spaces in the building will adopt the new standards which include aluminum and bronze frames for storefront glass; the large use of glass throughout the stores at street level to promote transparency and light; a custom-made, trademarked Empire State Building font for signage that resembles the original fonts used for the building; and Art Deco ornamentation used throughout the building's metalwork -- scalloped edges, scrolls and bronze detailing.</p>
<p>The Empire State Building's world-famous 86th and 102nd floor observatories received aesthetic upgrades to enhance the overall visitor experience. In addition, the relocation of the gift shop from the 86th floor to the 80th floor, offers 86th floor visitors unobstructed views from outside and inside the observation deck, rain or shine.</p>
<p>"Both a historic landmark and a modern architectural wonder, the reintroduction of the Empire State Building to the world marks a momentous milestone," said Peter L. Malkin, General Partner of the Empire State Building Company, LLC. "The Empire State Building, the international iconic symbol of New York, has reclaimed its position as the market's leading innovator to its tenants, visitors, and the world."</p>
About the Empire State Building
<p>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 <a href="http://www.esbnyc.com">www.esbnyc.com</a>.</p>
Contact: Edelman Public Relations
Adam Pietrala -- 212-704-8176
For further information: For further information: Adam Pietrala of Edelman Public Relations, +1-212-704-8176, firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: http://www.esbnyc.com