The Real Deal New York

Empire State Building mooring mast gets new windows

A total of 480 windows, some dating back to 1931, are being replaced

August 31, 2015 01:00PM

An inflatable King Kong hanging from the Empire State Building's mooring mast in 1983 (credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

An inflatable King Kong hanging from the Empire State Building’s mooring mast in 1983 (credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

The Empire State Buildings mooring mast, worn by time and King Kong attacks, is getting a makeover.

All 480 windows in the 200-foot mast, above the iconic tower’s observation deck, are being swapped out, in one of the last stages of the buildings’ renovation.

Workers prepare their gear in the hours before the observation deck’s 2 a.m. closing time. They work from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., assuming winds stay below 25 miles an hour. They replace about eight panels per night.

The windows protect a large cluster of LED lights, which make up part of the building’s colored lighting system. Though some windows have been patched, many have been in place since 1931. Skanska USA and owner Empire State Realty Trust began planning the work back in early 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Visits to the Empire State Building’s observation deck were down 4.7 percent, to 1.8 million, in the first half of 2015, from the first half of 2014. [WSJ]  – Ariel Stulberg