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History: The Empire State Building is a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style building in New York City, declared by the ASCE to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, it was finished in 1931. The tower takes its name from the nickname of New York State. Since the September 11th attacks, it is again the tallest building in New York City. The building belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers. Unlike most of today's high-rise buildings, the Empire State has a classic masonry facade. The building's distinctive art deco spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for zeppelins. However, after a couple of test attempts with airships, the idea proved to be impractical and dangerous due to the powerful updrafts caused by the size of the building itself, though the T-shaped mooring devices remain in place. Although the lower floors occupy the entire block, there are various "setbacks" in the building's design, as required by the New York City zoning law of 1916 (aimed at reducing shadows cast by tall buildings). These setbacks give the building its unique tapered silhouette.
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