HISTORY OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING: A FINANCIAL FLOP FOR NEARLY 20 YEARS QUICKLIQUIDITY The architects of a competing building, 40 Wall John J. Raskob of General Motors, a rival of Street, had devised a plan to prevent the Chrysler Chryslers, also aspired to build the world’s tallest Building from ever becoming the world’s tallest building. Raskob purchased 350 Fifth Avenue and building. Seeking the title for themselves, they began construction of the Empire State Building in planned 40 Wall Street to be 925 feet tall: 85 feet March of 1930, only a few months before the taller than the Chrysler Building had originally Chrysler Building was completed. Raskob hired planned to be. When Chrysler found out about 40 architect William F. Lamb, who finished the original Wall Street’s plans he decided to add a surprise drawings for the Empire State Building in only two 186foot spire to his building. 40 Wall Street finished weeks. In one of their first meetings Raskob had construction first in April of 1930, and held a celebration for being the tallest building in the world, without knowing that they were about to be surpassed. Less then two months later, the construction workers at the Chrysler Building hoisted 4 parts of the secret spire to the top and riveted them together in 90 minutes. At 1,046 feet high, the Chrysler Building became the world's tallest building¹. taken a jumbo pencil, stood it on its end and asked Lamb, "Bill, how high can you make it so that it won't fall down?" Using over 3,400 laborers a day, the building went up in just over a year, well ahead of schedule and under budget at $40 million, which would be nearly $600 million today. During certain periods of construction, the frame grew a remarkable fourandahalf stories a week. Not to be bested by the Chrysler Building, Raskob put the final cherry at the top of his building a spire, making the Empire State Building a soaring 102 stories and 1,250 feet high.