The Empire State Building Planned To Be Used To Dock Airships


With the advent of the airship, passengers could finally be transported over great distances in comfort — even luxury. The airship experience, however, didn’t come cheap. In 1928, a roundtrip transatlantic ticket sold for $3,000, worth about $44,500 today. What people may not know about airships is that the builders of the Empire State Building wanted to use it to dock them. Alfred E. Smith, the leader of a group of investors erecting the building even wanted the height increased by 200 feet so that a mooring mast for airships could be installed. Passengers could then exit the airship down a gangplank, and a mere seven minutes later be on the street. In September 1931, the first airship docked at the building for a mere three minutes — in 40mph winds. Traffic was tied up in the streets below for more than an hour and a half as the pilot jockeyed for position at the tower, 1,200 feet above the ground. Needless to say, the idea of using the Empire State Building as a permanent dock for airships was scrapped.