Watch the Building of the Empire State Building in Color: The Creation of the Iconic 1930s Skyscraper From Start to Finish | Open Culture

Ambition is not unknown in the New York City of the 2020s, but the New York City of the 1920s seems to have consisted of nothing but. Back then, where else would anyone dare to propose the tallest building in the world — much less end up with the job twelve days ahead of schedule and $9 million under budget? The construction of the Empire State Building began in January of 1930, just three months after the Wall Street Crash that began the Great Depression. Though economic conditions kept the project from attaining profitability until the 1950s (and stuck it with the nickname “Empty State Building”), it nevertheless stood in symbolic defiance of those hard times — and, ultimately, came to stand for New York and indeed the United Sates of America itself.

You can see footage of the Empire State Building’s construction in the compilation above, which gathers clips from contemporary newsreels and other sources and presents them in “restored, enhanced and colorized” form.

Source: Watch the Building of the Empire State Building in Color: The Creation of the Iconic 1930s Skyscraper From Start to Finish | Open Culture