Lightning strikes the top of the world famous Empire State Building, located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, but what happens to the electrical energy Mother Nature delivers after it strikes?  Where does it all go?  More importantly, what is located at the top Empire that attracts these highly dangerous and lethal lightning bolts?

Scientists have proven that lightning is attracted to the tallest objects first, or ones which offer the quickest path to an earth ground.  There's one other important reason why lightning favors the top of Empire.
 
There's a massive broadcast tower located on top of Empire, constructed of tons of solid steel that support numerous radio and television broadcast antennas, all of which by design are grounded, or directly attached to the tower.   For safety purposes, the tower itself is also electrically grounded to the core of the Empire State Building.
  
The photo to the left shows a good example of exactly why the tower must be electrically grounded, and why Empire's management team closes the 86th floor observation deck to tourists and employees during all storms, but there is one other important reason for grounding the massive tower which most people are unaware of.

It's to protect millions of dollars of high tech broadcast equipment, owned by the many radio and TV stations licensed in New York City and New Jersey, who are renting business space located in the top floors of Empire.  All of this highly expensive "state of the art" equipment is, in one way or another, electrically attached to the metal broadcast tower.

Looking Back: In 1931, when construction of the Empire State Building was finally completed, radio broadcasting was still in the experimental stages, or infancy.  With the exception of a few dedicated radio broadcast engineers and visionaries, nobody had ever dreamed that one day a tower would be placed at the top of Empire that would hold as many radio and television stations as it does today.  In fact, back in 1931, the very tip top of Empire was originally designed to dock dirigibles, or blimps.  All that changed throughout the 30's and 40's when radio and television made unprecedented technological advancements, especially during and after WW2.

There are countless books and publications containing facts and figures of general interest related to the Empire State Building, as well as movies which feature this famous New York City landmark.  We're going to take a detailed look at the broadcast facet of this gigantic skyscraper, starting with a photo collection highlighting some of the Empire State Building's "Broadcast EMPIRE", plus an article which explains in fully illustrated detail, the broadcast engineering side of the Empire State Building from the year 1967!

We hope you'll enjoy viewing a few pictures of the many transmitter facilities currently located on the 85th floor at Empire, starting with a detailed illustration of all the broadcast antennas on Empire (below illustration).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's Up Top!


The Master Antenna's FM Duplexer/Combiner & Filter Room
The Heartbeat Of Empire's Antenna System.


State Of The Art Harris FM Transmitters  /  Studio Transmitter Link System (STL)


Rack Rooms With Broadcast Transmitters And Various Equipment  


Broadcast Monitoring / Processing & Control Racks  /  Empire Takes Another Electrical Hit!


Empire's Official Antenna Structure Plaque With Registration Number: 1007048
can be seen in the lobby near the 5th avenue main entrance area.

1967 Empire State Building Antenna Article  
To The 1967 Article In Broadcast Magazine!


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