This week marks the 90th birthday of the Empire State Building and even one of the world’s most famous buildings, has its secrets. We were recently treated to a truly behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic skyscraper, the tallest building in New York City for 40 years, and are excited to share with you the fascinating things we discovered.

Star tour guide at the Empire State Building, Siobhan MacShane, who has worked there for over 17 years took us around everywhere from the top of the famous observatories to the spaces deep below ground. We discovered meeting her that she’s a longtime fan of Untapped New York, and with her history degree from the City University of New York, we’re not surprised! Despite her vast knowledge of and passion for the Empire State Building, Siobhan is incredibly humble, explaining that “Believe it or not, I’ve actually worked here the least” out of most of her colleagues, many who have been with the building over 20 years.

1. There’s a Decommissioned 103rd Floor Observation Deck

Workers on the 103rd Floor Observatory. Photo courtesy Empire State Realty Trust.
Workers on the 103rd Floor Observatory. Photo courtesy Empire State Realty Trust.

The 86th floor and 102nd floor observation decks of the Empire State Building are accessible but there’s a 103rd floor observation deck that’s still closed off. There’s a “celebrity balcony” on this 103rd floor that forms a ring around the mooring mast, on top of which the spire begins.

The 103rd floor was recently used in the restoration efforts on the original mooring mast, which included the restoration of the Art Deco sculptural aluminum wings and multi-story illuminated glazed lantern, along with the removal of obsolete antennas.