Empire State Building: The 8th World Wonder (Photos)

At the time when it was built in the early 1930s, the Empire State Building broke all records and was named "the 8th world wonder."  The building was constructed in a year and 45 days. Rising 1,454 above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building has served as one of the most recognizable and beloved attractions in the world. The building has accomplished many milestones but has also seen its share of tragedies. Today it stands as a 21st Century icon and while we celebrate the anniversary, we observe its history.

Photograph of a construction worker on the Empire State Building with  the Chrysler Building in the background. Construction on the building began March 17, 1930. With a peak labor force of 3,000 men, framework rose at a rate of 4 ½ stories per week.  (Imagno/Getty Images)

A worker wearing safety goggles and welds rivets into a beam during construction of the Empire State Building, 1930.  (Lewis W. Hine/George Eastman House/Getty Images)

A group portrait of  construction workers standing amongst steel beams during the construction of the Empire State Building.  (Lewis W. Hine/George Eastman House/Getty Images)

A view of the lobby of the Empire State Building, May 1, 1931. Former Gov. Alfred E. Smith with his grandchildren and party await the illumination of the building which was caused by the pushing of a button by President Hoover in Washington, D.C. This act officially opened the new building.  (AP Photo)

One of John Cerisoli's models of the giant ape, poised atop the Empire State Building in a scene from the classic monster movie "King Kong" in 1933.  (John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Police and firemen examine a burned out office on the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, after a B-25 Mitchell bomber crashed into the north side of the building,  July 28, 1945. The main part of the wreckage fell into the street, while leaking petrol set the upper stories of the building on fire. All three crew members and 11 office workers were killed.  ( Keystone/Gamma/ Getty Images)

For its 20 anniversary, the Empire State Building received a new antenna for television, FM radio, and emergency broadcasting. The new antenna made the building 217 feet higher, for a total height of 1,467 feet.  (Keystone/Gamma/ Getty Images)

An unidentified man writhes in pain on the projecting roof on 30th floor of the Empire State Building after leaping from a 33rd floor office window moments earlier,  July 16, 1951. Police said he screamed "Let me die-Push me off the rest of the way!" After emergency treatment he was taken to Columbus Hospital where he was in serious condition.  (Joe Caneva/AP Photo)

Walter Pawlowski and Stephanie Gaines, left, from Massapequa, L.I., Edgar Driscoll Jr. and Angela Tiano, from Staten Island, N.Y., and Randy Lockhardt and Young Ju Cho, right, from Manhattan, exchange kisses after participating in the Valentine's day marriage marathon atop the Empire State building Feb. 14, 1996 in New York. The first Valentine's Day wedding events took place in 1994.  (Marty Lederhandler/AP Photo)

An unidentified rescuer carries an infant from the Empire State Building to a waiting ambulance after a gunman shot several tourists on the 86th floor observation deck of the New York City building, Feb. 23, 1997, then turned the gun on himself. According to authorities one person was confirmed dead and eight people wounded.  (WNYW-TV/AP Photo)

Hundreds of runners jam up as they enter the stairwell during the start of the 30th annual Empire State Building Run-Up, Feb. 6, 2007 in New York City. Runners from around the world competed to be the first up the 1,576 steps to the top of the 102-story building.  The first Annual ESB Run-Up was took place in February 1978 .  ( Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Members of the medical examiner's office remove the body of a man who plunged to his death from the 34th street side of the Empire State Building, March 30, 2010. The apparent suicide came as tourists and officer workers milled around the famous skyscraper during the evening rush hour.  (Louis Lanzano/AP Photo)

A worker operates in one of the machinery rooms under the Empire State Building , May 8, 2009. The  Empire State Building  is being retrofitted, with all its 6,500 windows being changed and a massive upgrade of the heating, cooling and lighting systems, which will reduce energy consumption by 38 percent and allow the Empire State Building to enter the top 10 percent of eco-friendly offices.  (Emmanuel Dunande/AFP/Getty Images)

The Empire State Building stands in this aerial photograph taken over New York, July 7, 2010.  (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images)