NEW YORK, Oct 12, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – The stunning view from the highest
observatory at New York’s Empire State Building just got even better.
On Saturday, the viewing platform on the 102nd floor, known as the “top
deck,” reopens with a new 360-degree perspective on the Big Apple following
ten months of renovations.
The work is the third in a four-step project, which started four and half
years ago, to improve the experience at arguably the world’s most famous
The entire project is costing $165 million.
The redevelopment of the observatory, which sits at 1,250 feet (381
meters), began in January.
Walls that were over 3.6 feet (1.10 meters) high and blocked part of the
view have been replaced by glass.
The elevator shaft is now also made of glass, allowing visitors to enjoy
the view before the doors even open.
The fact the elevator is see-through means people can enjoy a panoramic
view of the city from wherever they stand in the observatory.
“This space had obstructions and the strategy behind the renovation of the
102nd floor was to remove as many of the obstructions to allow visitors to
take in the view in a much earlier phase,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, head of the
“This is the spot to experience New York City from the heart of it all,” he
The first two phases of the development focused on reducing queues by
creating separate entrances for visitors and staff and opening a new museum
on the first floor.
The final stage will see the opening of a new observatory on the 80th
floor, to be finished by the end of the year.
The 86th floor observatory, known as the “main deck” and featured in
countless movies, lets visitors to venture outside.