4. See the Last Original Elevator

Inside the museum at the Empire State Building, you can step into the last original Otis elevator from the 1931 construction. It was in use until 2017, taking people from the 86th floor observatory to the 102nd observatory. The relay controller for the elevator was taken out and is on display, along with the mechanics atop of the car. The cab itself is made of elements from the original elevator — like the display panels — and mixed with mock elements.

When the Empire State Building was built, it had the fastest elevators in the world moving at 800 feet per minute up and down seven miles of elevator shafts. The law in New York City at the time stipulated that elevators could not exceed speeds of 600 feet per minute, so the regulation had to be overturned just for the Empire State Building. Otis was hired again for the recent renovation of the Empire State Building, and installed new elevators that are 50 to 75% more efficient than the original using a technology that captures energy that would be wasted as heat, and returns it to the building’s power grid.