Otis Elevators in Empire State Building Get Their Due in New Exhibit

On July 29, visitors to the world-famous Empire State Building in NYC have the opportunity to embark on a “journey from the building’s construction to its place in pop culture today.” For elevator (and history, design and technology) enthusiasts, that journey includes a brand-new Otis display, which Otis states “showcases our rich history with this iconic building, as well as our latest technology that transports more than 10 million people each year . . . .” A few years ago, Otis won a hotly competitive contract to modernize the 68-elevator system, a job that included restoration of the Art Deco elevator lobby. At the time, it was the biggest elevator modernization in Otis’ 158-year history. Available with the purchase of a ticket to the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observatory, the Otis elevator display allows guests to walk through a simulation of an elevator shaft. The display showcases not only how the original elevators operated, but the new technology installed. The new 2nd Floor Exhibits also include vivid, action-packed looks at the site in the 1920s, construction of the buildings, major tenant spaces, most famous celebrity visitors (with signed memorabilia) and, of course, King Kong!! If you’re in NYC, be sure to check it out.

A virtual elevator shaft can be experienced as part of Otis’ new display in the 2nd Floor Exhibits at the Empire State Building in NYC; image courtesy of Empire Realty Trust.
Otis’ new display in the Empire State Building’s 2nd Floor Exhibits offer a trip through time and an in-depth look at the landmark’s elevator system; image courtesy of Empire Realty Trust.

Construction Time-Lapse Released on Hudson Yards Opening Day

The official Hudson Yards construction time-lapse of the enormous New York City development was released today in celebration of its partial opening. EarthCam’s 4K-quality  construction timelapse movie chronicles each stage of the project, starting in December 2012 and continuing to the present day. Challenges included the continual reprogramming of more than 72 unique robotic camera angles positioned around Manhattan’s West Side and across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

The largest private real-estate development in the history of the U.S., Hudson Yards’ main retail portion and the Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s interactive, public sculpture, are now open. Sales have also begun for the multimillion-dollar residences in 35 Hudson Yards, the tallest residential tower rising in the Related/Oxford Properties Group development at more than 1,000 ft. tall.

CTBUH Says 2018 Was a Big Year for Tall Towers

This chart, courtesy of CTBUH, is a graphic representation of 50 years’ worth of tall building (200+ m) construction. Note the explosion in numbers of new skyscrapers over the past decade.

Last year didn’t quite match the record for skyscraper completions we saw in 2017, but an interactive look at 2018 in review, courtesy of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), shows that the tall trend isn’t close to abating. Some of the highlights:

  • 143 buildings of at least 200 m (656 ft.) were completed, just shy of 2017’s record of 147 and bringing the worldwide total to 1,478
  • Of the new buildings, 76% were in Asia
  • China led the world with 88 completions of towers at least 200 m tall; the city of Shenzhen alone had 14, nearly 10% of the worldwide total
  • Among all countries, the United States was a distant second place, with 13 completions
  • China also had the tallest building to complete, the 528-m (1,732-ft.) China Zun in Beijing
  • 19 cities around the world got a new tallest building
  • And, how’s this for a sky-high trend? There were 18 supertalls (skyscrapers standing at least 300 m [984 ft.]) completed worldwide, the most ever in one year.

The future of tall-building construction looks brighter than ever, thanks to the rapid urbanization of the global population. This year appears to be another big year for skyscraper news; check out ELEVATOR WORLD’s Web Exclusive for March.