Constructed during the onset of the Great Depression, the Empire State Building became a symbol of American innovation and a marker of what the United States could achieve, even during its darkest times.Standing as the world’s tallest building for 40 years of its life, the grandeur and scale of the Empire State inspired near-universal awe and cemented it as the defining structure of New York City.

Now, as the structure approaches its 90th birthday, a ten-year modernisation programme has revamped the groundbreaking Otis elevator system that enabled the original construction of the building, improved energy efficiency and brought this iconic 1930s skyscraper into the 21st century.