If there is a more photogenic building in America than the Empire State Building, we haven't found it.
The beautiful, 102-story skyscraper in New York City that was once the tallest in the world has been a star since it opened 75 years ago.
It was a building of majesty, a tribute to the heights of human accomplishment, and the offspring of a competition between Walter Chrysler (of Chrysler Corp.) and John Jakob Raskob (a one-time leader at General Motors) to see who could build the tallest structure.
Built during the Depression, the landmark skyscraper cost less than $25 million to construct in only a year and 45 days. On May 1, 1931, President Herbert Hoover pressed a button in Washington, and on came the building's lights.
The spotlights of Hollywood soon followed.
Most famously, the building - soaring today to a height of 1,454 feet in midtown Manhattan - made the perfect steel tree for a giant ape named Kong.
Its observatory on the 86th floor is where Cary Grant waited in vain for Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember and where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan met in the 1957 movie's remake, Sleepless in Seattle.
And don't forget the aliens in Independence Day who blasted it to pieces.
All told, the Empire State Building has appeared in more movies than Kevin Bacon - at least 90 films and counting, according to the building's Web site, www.esbnyc.com. Here's a list of our favorite 25.
- Ryan E. Smith
●King Kong (1933, 2005)
●Nothing Sacred (1937)
●Ball of Fire (1941)
●On the Town (1949)
●On the Waterfront (1954)
●Blackboard Jungle (1955)
●Guys and Dolls (1955)
●The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
●An Affair to Remember (1957)
●Bell Book and Candle (1958)
●North By Northwest (1959)
●French Connection (1971)
●Taxi Driver (1976)
●Annie Hall (1977)
●New York, New York (1977)
●Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
●Superman II (1980)
●When Harry Met Sally (1989)
●Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
●Independence Day (1996)