Empire State Building Mooring Mast Glass Project

Empire State Building

Construction of the Empire State Building was completed in 1931. The Mooring Mast, which rises above the 88th Floor of the building and extends to the 102nd-Floor Observatory is a hollow 4-sided structure that has 120 panes of glass on each side. In 2012, the ESB replaced its spotlight system for illumination of the building with an array of LED lights on various upper parapets, the tower and the inside of the Mooring Mast. The new LED system is capable of displaying 16 million different colored light combinations. Over the years since 1931, a large number of the glass panes in the Mooring Mast had broken and been replaced with ones of different opacity. Others had become discolored by the harsh weather conditions at that level of the building. It was decided that all 480 glass panes in the Mooring Mast would be replaced. 

In March of 2014, Smith and Fisher was hired by the Empire State Building to conduct measurements on the exterior of the Mooring Mast, prior to workers beginning the glass replacement process, which would occur from the outside of the building, using movable scaffolds. Since the scaffolding had not been constructed yet, the only way Kyle and I could conduct the measurement survey was to rappel from the 103rd Floor parapet down to the 88th Floor parapet and take our measurements along the way. We were assisted by Master Rigger George Cole, who, with his team, set the lines, provided harnesses and accompanied Kyle and me on our descents. 

Over the course of four nights, between the hours of 2 am and 4:45 am, Kyle and I rappelled and made our measurements. It was an exhilarating experience (not to mention cold and windy) and one we will never forget. We are so lucky to be associated with the coolest building in the universe!