If you’ve been paying attention, a new addition has been underway at the top of the Empire State Building. Opening tomorrow, a fully renovated 102nd floor observatory now has floor to ceilings glass windows and a 360 degree view of New York City. Our Untapped Cities Insider, Mickey Blank, who runs the page New York Live with Mickey, got a sneak peek in advance of the official opening tomorrow. You can see in the video and photographs, it’s a great way to get even higher views of the city, compared to the 86th floor observation deck, and stay out of the wind.

Photo courtesy Empire State Building

The interior design has appropriately Art Deco floors and decorative details, and the observation deck is the second phase of a large renovation at the Empire State Building which includes a new lobby, a 10,000 square foot museum, and now the new 102nd floor observatory. It costs an extra $20 to get up to this observatory. You’ll ride in a brand new glass elevator from the 86th floor to 102nd where you’re invited to “step right to the edge of ‘the World’s Most Famous Building.”

View from the 102nd floor observatory

Renovation to this observatory required building a suspended “cocoon,” a scaffolding structure that surrounded the deck, one of the highest of its kind ever built in New York City.

Photo courtesy Empire State Building

Photo courtesy Empire State Building

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Empire State Building and discover more observation decks in NYC!

3 thoughts on “Inside the New 102nd Floor Observatory on the Empire State Building

  1. So THAT’S what the 102nd floor looks like–nowadays (at least). Back in 1977 my family and I tried to take the elevator from the 86th floor to the 102nd floor observatory–and the elevator got stuck at the 100th floor level. After about half an hour or so, the elevator returned to the 86th floor and we left.

    That was just as well because a few hours later, while we were in our hotel room on the 48th floor of the Americana Hotel near Rockefeller Center, the great 1977 blackout began. We were stuck there for almost 18 hours–and were afraid we wouldn’t make it to our flight out of town. (We did, although the taxi driver told us that all of the gasoline pumps were shut down due to the power failure.)

    1. What a crazy story that you happened to go right before the blackout! If you have the chance, the 102nd floor is much improved now so you can get an even better experience!)

  2. Wow! That’s a tad different to the way it used to be. I hope the renovation of the landmarked ESB lobby won’t compromise the current amazing Art Deco detailing.

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