The Empire State Building has been undergoing a restoration project since June 2019 to return the iconic landmark to its original silhouette. Now in its final stages, photos reveal the restoration of the 1930s Art Deco luster on the Midtown edifice. Empire State Realty Trust, along with project managers JLL, master riggers from ColeNYC, and CANY Architecture and Engineering have joined forces to return the structure to its original architectural design.
In 1931, when the Empire State Building was completed, the distinctive spire stood decorated with Art Deco sculptural aluminum wings and multi-story illuminated glazed lanterns. At that time, the Mooring Mast element of the high rise, which includes the spire, was responsible for ESB’s status as the world’s tallest structure. As a result, it became a prime location for broadcasting equipment, acting as a television and radio transmitter tower.
After major communications equipment was relocated to the newly extended upper spire of the structure, the Empire State Realty Trust removed obsolete antennas and matting located between floors 88 and 103 of the mooring mast. The latest stage of renovations included restoring the condition and historic appearance of this prominent feature.
Restoration details included removing the antenna and equipment to further streamline the exterior. Then the fins on the mooring mast were power washed and coated in silver waterproof paint. Waterproofing was also done on the dome, from the underside of the celebrity balcony on the 103rd floor to the base of the antenna spire.