Empire State Building Unveils New $165 Million Observatory

For visitors to New York City, if the Empire State Building wasn’t already on their list of must-see attractions, it certainly is now.

The iconic skyscraper recently completed a four-year, $165 million remodeling of its observatory, installing floor-to-ceiling windows on the 102nd floor that now offer visitors 360-degree views from 1,250 feet above the city.

The renovated observatory opens to the public on Saturday, October 12. The $58 cost of admission has not changed but the visitor experience is expected to as guests are being promised shorter lines.

Anthony Malkin, chairman and CEO of the Empire State Realty Trust, which financed the project, told CNN: “People share the same words—iconic, authentic, historic, dreams, inspiration—we wanted to make that part of the visitor experience.”

“Every single person will be able to stand facing a window and not touch anybody else,” he added. “The entire rest of the building had been upgraded, and we were still offering the same experience we offered Queen Elizabeth back in the 1950s.”

Empire State Building shows off new $165 million observatory https://t.co/gzD3Rwiaib pic.twitter.com/z6Z08AvcPd

Sneak peek: Inside the Empire State Building’s renovated 102nd floor observatory. pic.twitter.com/7bkKxDGBPU

The building’s open-air observatory on the 86th floor has also been renovated. Crews opened up walls between the interior space and the open-air terrace so that visitors will be met with gorgeous views the second they step off of the elevator. The open-air observatory requires a $38 ticket.

Visitors can also look forward to an additional 10,000 square feet of exhibits, including a replica of King Kong’s hand from the 1933 film, portraits of celebrities and much more.

The Empire State Building attracts more than 4 million tourists each year, more than half of which travel from abroad to experience the famous building.

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