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World's Most Famous Building Again Welcomes World's Most Famous Dog Show

By: Westminster Kennel Club

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In 2004, visitors to New York during Westminster and viewers in a huge national television audience for the world's most famous dog show were treated to a historic site: for the first time ever, the Empire State Building was lit in the club colors of purple and gold during each evening of the show as a salute to Westminster's enduring place in the city's incredible history.

Westminster will share the lighting in 2005 with one of the Building's most famous traditions: Valentine's Day. Since the Westminster dates are February 14 and 15, 2005, the famous tower will be lit in its traditional color of red on the 14th, and then in Westminster's purple and gold on the 15th. Westminster is honored to share the Empire State Building with hopeless romantics everywhere.

The impressive exterior lighting system of this National and New York City Historic Landmark honors national holidays and special events of interest to New Yorkers. Soaring more than a quarter of a mile skyward above the heart of Manhattan, the lights are visible for miles and are shown in photos, web sites and postcards throughout the world.

From the people who fell in love here, to the ones who have returned with their children and grandchildren, everyone recognizes the Empire State Building. It is not only an awe-inspiring landmark with one of the most spectacular views on earth, but an unequaled symbol of American ingenuity and Art Deco architecture.

Each year over 3.5 million people are whisked to the 86th floor to be where Cary Grant waited in vain for Deborah Kerr in an "Affair to Remember", while Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had their fateful meeting in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle."

Construction began on the building in March of 1930, and was completed in May of 1931 when U.S. President Herbert Hoover pressed a button to turn on the lights for the first time. The building's history is full of interesting facts and marvelous accomplishments that still intrigue men, women and children of the world. Here are just a few:

  • The Empire State Building is 1,453 feet tall to the top of the lightning rod. The Building, designed to serve as a lightning rod itself for the surrounding area, is struck by lightning approximately 100 times per year.

  • On a clear day, visitors to the 86th floor observatory can see for about 80 miles and five states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

  • Located at 5th Avenue at 34th Street, the Empire State Building is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to midnight, 365 days a year.

    For more information about the Empire State Building, log on to www.esbnyc.com.

    Plan ahead: Westminster will be the subject of the Empire State Building's Lobby Window Exhibits in January, February and March of 2006.

    Article courtesy of: westminsterkennelclub.org

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