Monday, September 3, 2012

Empire State Building...dirigible docking--FAILED

Ephemeral New York...

The Empire State Building was not supposed to be just the tallest skyscraper in the world; its planners also wanted it to have a dirigible docking station at the very top.

It was the late 1920s, and the grand new world of aviation was upon us. With that in mind, the idea was to have a dirigible dock at the building’s spire. Passengers would somehow disembark at the 102nd floor, where an elevator would whisk them down to the street.

But building planners forgot to factor in wind. After the Empire State Building opened in 1931, one dirigible did try to land there to test it out; it didn’t work, and the whole slightly ludicrous idea was scrapped. The spire became the dock for a broadcast tower in 1953.

Maybe inspired by the Popular Science magazine cover [May, 1919].

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