Caption: "Empire State Bldg. in the Distance. Height 1250 Feet, 102 Stories. 34th St. New York. Aug. 16, 1934." Street scene dominated by the Empire State Building rising a few blocks away. Construction began on this iconic 102-story building, designed by William F. Lamb, in 1930. Completed by early 1931, it held the title of world's tallest building for almost 40 years, until being surpassed in 1970 by the construction of the World Trade Center's North Tower. It is now the fifth-tallest building in the U.S., and the 28th-tallest in the world.