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It is a renovation project for the 102nd floor.
I don't visit international sites every day and had noticed this on the ESB a few weeks back and wondered what it was about...I remember during my September 2007 visit to the US thought the glass around the 102 level was fairly opaque compared to clear glass you would expect in an observatory...Great that this has been improved, I guess that's what they did ?
 
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Looks like the bubble wrap is coming down!

https://nypost.com/2019/10/08/empire...n-102nd-floor/

Empire State Building to open new observatory on 102nd floor



By Lois Weiss
October 8, 2019

The Empire State Building is opening its new 102nd-floor observatory, complete with floor-to-ceiling glass walls, on Saturday.

If you haven’t been there since you were a kid or you took your out-of-town relatives a decade ago, it’s time for another look. The guest experience no longer involves a DMV-like waiting line and has been revamped and filled with immersive and Instagrammable moments.

Want to view a 25-foot-tall model of the building that is synched with its varying colored lights on top? Check.

Want to see hundreds of huge photos of celebrities and movie clips taken at the building? Check.

Want a selfie of yourself in King Kong’s hand while the beast moves around and peers in windows? Check.

Want to delight kids of all ages by spotting the video cat chasing a pigeon perched on a construction beam? Check.

Want swift-moving elevators with ceilings showing videos of the building’s construction? Check.

On a cloudy, drizzly day last week, visitors’ spirits were not dampened as there was zero wait time and plenty of elbow room at the exhibits and in the remodeled indoor and outdoor observatory on the 86th floor.

Long views were obscured, but the city’s other towers, skylines and streetscapes were visible through the thin fog.

After another elevator ride, I stepped out into an entirely revamped 102nd floor — the top-most inhabitable level — which was still swarming with dozens of construction workers.

Here, the small, waist-high windows have been swapped for dizzying new floor-to-ceiling glass. Even the lone elevator has a glass surround to ensure a gorilla-sized, 360-degree experience.

Tickets are available online and at the West 34th Street visitor entrance but, to filter out some of the 4 million-plus visitors a year, there’s a $20 up-charge for the new 102nd observatory.
 

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LinkedIn Takes Another 189K SF in the Empire State Building

LinkedIn signed a deal to take another 188,653 square feet on the 24th floor and lower three-tower floors of the iconic skyscraper at 350 Fifth Avenue, boosting its footprint to 501,600 square feet in the property, a spokeswoman for the landlord Empire State Realty Trust confirmed.

[...]

LinkedIn first moved into the Art Deco skyscraper in 2011 and the lease marks the social network’s seventh expansion in the tower. It has space on the third floor as well as the 22nd through 28th floors and in July 2018 took 30,165 square feet on the 27th floor, Commercial Observer previously reported.

[...]

Other tenants in the 2.2-million-square-foot building include construction giant Skanska, fashion firm Global Brands Group and stock photography provider ************.
 

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A look back at the B-25 Mitchell bomber that flew into the Empire State Building on July 28,1945...
 
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