Empire State Building Reveals Refurbished Observatory

The skyscraper now offers floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping city views.


Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge, with the Empire State Building in the background.
Photograph by Julienne Schaer

The iconic Empire State Building in New York City will reopen its observatory on Saturday, Oct. 12. On the 102nd floor, the observatory now features 24 crystal-clear, eight-foot-tall windows that offer a 360-degree view of the city. 

The observatory has been closed for the past 10 months. Starting this weekend, visitors can explore the new observatory and take in sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

Renovations to the observatory are part of an extensive plan to refresh the skyscraper that is projected to cost $165 million. The building's lobby has also been remodeled and an immersive 10,000-square-foot exhibit has been added to the second floor. The exhibit, which opened in July, showcases the history of the building and includes relevant pop culture displays such as a replica of King Kong's hand that moves. 

"The 102nd floor observatory is the crown jewel of the Empire State Building. We've removed all the obstructions and obstacles, giving guests access to a view that is centrally-located and unrivaled in New York City," said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and CEO of Empire State Realty Trust. "The observatory entrance and the second-floor galleries have been embraced by our visitors, and the 102nd floor's reopening is a major moment in our progress to complete the new Empire State Building Observatory Experience."