While standing outside the Empire State Building on Fifth Ave. and West 34th I am inspired by feelings of hope.
The sheer beauty of the Empire State Building takes me aback. My eyes start at street level, I see inside the shops like Starbucks and Heartland Brewery, I see the people talking and drinking their piping hot cups of coffee. I can see little kids holding on to their mother’s legs asking for a cookie or a cupcake. Then, I slowly begin to lift my eyes higher; I am examining the black and silver awning that has aged gracefully with time. Higher and higher my eyes climb, I see the words “Empire State” etched in gold within the stone. My eyes once again climb up trying to count the floors but I can’t, there are just too many floors. I give up counting floors but I keep lifting my eyes until the very top. Now all I can see is a thin antenna shrouded in the clouds of hope. How can a simple building instill such a comforting feeling of hope?
In order to answer this question I want take you on a journey. While standing in the shadow of The Empire State Building, I am transported to the same place but of in a different time. I am transported to a time without skyscrapers or large building, just a simple New York.
The year is 1929, in the midst of the great depression; thousands of people have just lost their jobs. America is struggling. The economy was down and unemployment was up but that did not stop construction of The Empire State Building to begin on St Patrick's Day, March 17th 1930. I see people grimacing at the thought of a massive skyscraper being built, one that the likes of which have never been seen before in the world. I can hear the people walking by the empty lot saying “Its impossible to build something like this in the middle of a Depression, no one has this kind of money anymore.”
But they were so wrong. In only a short while on May 1st 1931 The Empire State Building opened its doors for the first time only to send the world into shock. Perhaps this building is what inspired the song, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” which has the famous line "Once I built a tower to the sun/Brick and rivet and lime/Once I built a tower, now it's done/Brother, can you spare a dime.”
From this song perhaps we can see our first glimpse of hope. The song suggests that with the opening of the Empire State Building, people have their restored faith in the America. People are now optimistic about economic recovery and are therefore willing part with a dime for their fellow brothers.
People of this time period saw The Empire State Building as a new beginning. That although America’s economy was is in troubling times it will once again prosper. Like The Empire State Building did, for it was built when all hope seemed lost despite everyone thinking the building would never get built. Spiraling high in the sky the Empire State Building was first structure in the...