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-   -   NEW YORK | The Empire State Building | 1,472' Pinnacle | 103 FLOORS | 1931 (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum//showthread.php?t=149360)

CoolCzech Dec 26, 2007 10:44 PM

NEW YORK | Empire State Building | 1,250 FT | 102 FLOORS | Renovation
 
Landmark gets a proper setting
Empire State revamp reflects Penn Station area's growing importance

December 22. 2007 12:14PMBy: Cara S. Trager

Louis Hedgecock's company is going to the right place at the right time.

In March, design firm BBG-BBGM will trade its longtime Madison Avenue digs for a 30,000-square-foot, light-drenched floor in the Empire State Building, which is getting a $500 million makeover. The iconic skyscraper is on a corridor that's attracting important office and retail tenants, and slated upgrades will make the area's transportation and entertainment facilities world-class.

"We think it's a good time to get in on the ground floor of a changing neighborhood," says Mr. Hedgecock, managing partner at BBG-BBGM.

Many businesses are on the same page. Last year, Starbucks signed a lease in the Empire State Building—whose revamp will include a new lobby, windows and elevators, and reconfigured floors to accommodate larger tenants—for what will be its biggest location in the city.


Skyrocketing rents


The project signals the revitalization of an important gateway neighborhood. If plans announced this year come to fruition, the Penn Station area may become one of the most active in the city.

Retail rents along 34th Street have skyrocketed in the past two years, to as much as $800 a square foot. Arrivals in 2007 included Bebe, the stylish women's clothier, and surf-wear shop Billabong. J.C. Penney leased a 150,000-square-foot store at the nearby Manhattan Mall, on Sixth Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets.

At year-end, Jeff Sutton, the owner of 27 W. 34th St. and 29 W. 34th St., began demolishing both properties to make way for two three-story buildings, one of which will be leased entirely by shoe company Geox. According to real estate insiders, Apple is putting up a two-story building on 34th Street, though it is unknown whether the company will occupy or sublease the property.

Other major players buzzing around the neighborhood include Nordstrom, which has reportedly looked at several locations, and Merrill Lynch, which is considering the Hotel Pennsylvania as a headquarters site.


On the screen


"[34th Street] has just gotten more on everybody's radar screen because there's not a lot of space available," says Jeffrey Roseman, executive vice president of Newmark Knight Frank.

It's just the beginning. Penn Station's transformation has been inching toward reality for years. In 2007, those plans were folded into a more ambitious, $14 billion redevelopment proposal. It includes a Moynihan Station within the James A. Farley Post Office building and a new Madison Square Garden within Farley's western annex.

http://www.e-architect.co.uk/new%20y...crmar07_13.jpg
(http://www.e-architect.co.uk/new%20y...crmar07_13.jpg)

CoolCzech Dec 26, 2007 10:54 PM

I'm really glad that someone has finally decided to sink some money into the ESB... the last time I was there, I was disgusted how the building had been allowed to deteriorate... the fans up on the 80th floor, where the skylobby is, in lieu of air conditioning are a shame, too.

I wonder what street the new lobby will face?

Dac150 Dec 26, 2007 11:45 PM

This is great. I'm glad someone is finally stepping up to renovate the ESB. Hopefully the results will be just as good as Chrysler's a few years back.

NYguy Dec 27, 2007 1:13 PM

The ESB has slowly been getting upgrades, as tenants move out. The building's iconic status will never be in doubt, regardless of whether anything taller gets built in Midtown. In many ways, the Empire State Building is New York.

chex Dec 27, 2007 4:21 PM

i was in the ESB a year ago, and i can say is just gorgeous...!

babybackribs2314 Dec 27, 2007 7:40 PM

Was just in NYC, and walked by the Empire State for the first time in a few years (I go to NYC once or twice a year, not near the ESB usually, though). Unimpressed by the retail at the bottom.. I would think they could do much better than those low end stores. Would be nice if they could attract higher end clients (I think it would be neat if a major department store could occupy the space, like Nordstrom or Neimans but that might not be feasible given the layout of the building?)

CoolCzech Dec 28, 2007 1:09 AM

Any truth to the rumor that they are planning a new glass facade for the ESB?

;)

Dale Dec 28, 2007 2:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3248442)
Any truth to the rumor that they are planning a new glass facade for the ESB?

;)

I hope it's greenj glass. :cool:

NYguy Dec 28, 2007 7:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 (Post 3247960)
Unimpressed by the retail at the bottom.. I would think they could do much better than those low end stores. Would be nice if they could attract higher end clients (I think it would be neat if a major department store could occupy the space, like Nordstrom or Neimans but that might not be feasible given the layout of the building?)

That's correct. But what's also taken into consideration is the location of the ESB. The ground floor tenants are in sync with the rest of the area. Nothing trashy, but not too upscale.

NYguy Dec 28, 2007 8:05 AM

The ESB will always be the King of skyscrapers, even as it is increasingly being
passed by taller and taller skyscrapers.

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/90489202/original.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/90889551/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/90489210/original.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/90489213/original.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/90889551/original.jpg

CoolCzech Dec 28, 2007 2:03 PM

It was the very first true Supertall, a brilliant feat of design and engineering that defined what an impressive skyscraper is, that all other cities aspire to immitate or surpass. Considering when it was built, the sublime example of architecture it is, and its fame, I'm astounded it didn't make that "7 Modern Wonders" list that came out this year. (Come to think of it, that the Statue of Liberty was omitted is astonishing, too, even if only considering what it represented to tens of millions from all over the world. Indeed, one could probably come up with a credible list of Seven Wonders that are ALL in New York: Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the new World Trade Center all come to mind... )

SkyscraperJunky Dec 31, 2007 1:22 AM

The most astonishing thing to me is the length of its title as a world supertall. I can't believe it's almost 80 years old, so ahead of its time. I'm glad theyh commenced restoring this beauty. I hope they really tackle the antenna. It's almost shameful to see it now compared to the original.

http://www.lnl.com/images/empire/esb1.jpg
http://img406.imageshack.us/img406/9623/img3294ia9.jpg

Ghost Dec 31, 2007 7:07 AM

:previous: Isn't that antenna used for TV broadcasting etc? I don't see how they could take it down... And anyway I don't think it's so bad. Maybe the best looking antenna with the former WTC.

Aleks Dec 31, 2007 8:35 AM

The antenna is fine. They just need to take the ugly rods off the spire, change the glass, and wash the stone too.

Spocket Dec 31, 2007 9:46 AM

So, uh...well, what do they plan to actually do to the building ?

NYguy Dec 31, 2007 1:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spocket (Post 3252839)
So, uh...well, what do they plan to actually do to the building ?

Most of it has already been in the works over the past few years. But the most important aspect of it is the consolidation of space (the ESB has many small tenants) to attract they type of tenants that require large chunks of space. Approval was already given for restoration of the lobby.


Here's an older article:
http://www.interiordesign.net/id_art...000&text=beyer

Beyer Blinder Belle to Restore Empire State Building Lobby
Work will begin with the historic gold- and silver-leaf ceiling mural.


by Meaghan O'Neill
Interior Design · April 6, 2007

Soaring nearly 1,500 feet above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building touts breathtaking views and attracts million visitors annually. But at 75 years old, even “the world’s most famous office building” needs some T.L.C., especially if wants to keep attracting new tenants. To that end, recent upgrades have been made to the building’s infrastructure and, now, public areas. Currently, a comprehensive restoration and revitalization of its famous Art Deco lobby is underway.

Originally designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, the space will be spruced up by world-renowned Beyer, Blinder Belle Architects & Planners. The firm—which has previously revitalized national landmarks such as Grand Central Terminal and the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration in New York, the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.—will work to restore the lobby’s original historic character. A number of features, finishes, and distinctive architectural details obscured by alterations over time will be restored or recreated. At the same time, the firm will help improve the structure’s operations as a modern office building.

Current plans include the restoration of the lobby’s historic ceiling mural, which depicts a celestial sky rendered in gold and silver leaf; it was fully covered by a drop ceiling with fluorescent lighting installed during the 1960s. Working with art conservation consultant EverGreene Painting Studios and lighting designers Light Projects Group, Beyer Blinder Belle has already accurately recreated a portion of the damaged original mural.
In addition, the plan calls for the replacement of the lobby’s original incandescent uplighting fixtures with modern, energy-efficient fixtures and supplemental downlights, which would meet contemporary requirements and create a historically accurate effect.

Beyer Blinder Belle will also address planning and design issues throughout the lobby’s street entrances, corridors, retail spaces, and elevator bank areas, including a visitor desk and revamped pedestrian circulation as well as security features and improved signage.

CoolCzech Dec 31, 2007 1:45 PM

"Current plans include the restoration of the lobby’s historic ceiling mural, which depicts a celestial sky rendered in gold and silver leaf; it was fully covered by a drop ceiling with fluorescent lighting installed during the 1960s."


Covered up by a drop ceiling, for God's Sake! What the hell were people thinking of back in the '60s? Same decade they tore down Penn Station, too. The change in mentality from the glory days of New York Art Deco to the '60s is just astounding... thank goodness the pendulum's swung back the other way.

I don't mind the antenna atop the mast, but do wish they would do a lot of restoration on the mast proper... it's just a shame to see it looking like a beat up old refrigerator rusting at a town dump somewhere...

CoolCzech Dec 31, 2007 4:44 PM

Some pics of the ESB's glorious lobby:

http://archrecord.construction.com/n...inderBelle.jpg
(archrecord.com)

http://www.wayfaring.info/wp-content...e-building.jpg
(wayfaring.info)

http://www.dkimages.com/discover/pre...756/213820.JPG
(dkimages.com)

That's the drop ceiling they're talking about removing. If the ceiling mural is anything like the one those gold ones in the side corridors, it should be a breathtaking restoration! One wonders who the enterprising purveyor of modernist good taste was that thought this would be an improvement over a glorious Art Deco ceiling mural!

NYguy Dec 31, 2007 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3252920)
"Current plans include the restoration of the lobby’s historic ceiling mural, which depicts a celestial sky rendered in gold and silver leaf; it was fully covered by a drop ceiling with fluorescent lighting installed during the 1960s."


Covered up by a drop ceiling, for God's Sake! What the hell were people thinking of back in the '60s?

Hey, it was the 60's...:banana:

NYguy Dec 31, 2007 11:21 PM

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91047800/original.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91047803/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91047803/original.jpg

CoolCzech Jan 1, 2008 12:33 AM

^Although they could keep the antenna, I would love to see the rest of mast restored to that pristine state... except for the giant monkey, of course...

CGII Jan 1, 2008 12:39 AM

Would love to see the antanna removed, but of course with the profits involved in keeping it we won't see that happen.

The restoration of the mooring mast will be nothing short of spectacular, even so.

NYguy Jan 1, 2008 12:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CGII (Post 3253827)
Would love to see the antanna removed, but of course with the profits involved in keeping it we won't see that happen.

It will also serve as a backup to the Freedom Tower antenna.

CoolCzech Jan 1, 2008 3:18 PM

I don't really mind the antenna at all: it's been there as long as I remember, giving the ESB its characteristic "hypodermic" shape. Besides, it gives the building added height. If it suddenly disappeared, most people would feel something was missing, as opposed to something being restored...

Remember, the mast was originally meant as a docking station for dirigibles (yes, the ESB is THAT old!), but on the first few tries the "dock" proved too instable, and just plain scary, to ever be used that way. So, in fact the antenna has become the mast's raison d'etre... If modern television broadcasting was around when it was first designed, it's a certainty there would have been some sort of antenna built in the first place.

What I REALLY want to see are the mast and antenna restored to like-new condition: that would be spectacular.

NYguy Jan 2, 2008 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3254304)
If it suddenly disappeared, most people would feel something was missing, as opposed to something being restored...

That's true also.

NYguy Jan 3, 2008 11:38 AM

Photo by jbparker

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/156/3...f22a2cef_b.jpg


Another by jorivando

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1111/...aeb8170b_b.jpg

chex Jan 3, 2008 9:26 PM

OMG! thats a beautiful pic, the original top of the ESB looks pretty nice, weird to me, like naked, but looks pretty nice...

Go7SD Jan 4, 2008 9:05 PM

A couple of years ago I was surprised when I discovered the origin of Empire State Building's roots being traced back to Pennsylvania and Indiana. These placewere also responsible for the cladding and steel we see today on some other buildings like Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Tribune Tower etc.. I use to visit some friends in Bedford located just south of Indianapolis. I learned that the Bedford Indiana Limestone Co. was where ESB's cladding came from and that they even offer tours of the Empire State Building quary where it was cut from. Everytime I look at the building it's like seeing part of Indiana on the face of it but on other hand Bethlehem,Pa is where some of the building's steel (skeleton) came from. The Empire State Building is a true marvel and will be for many generations to come.

Interesting facts:

60,000 tons of steel was brought in from the steel mills in Pennsylvania (mainly Bethlehem area), 310 miles away, by train, barges and trucks.
generations to come.


"The Empire Quarry" (known as the craddle of ESB)
it's a long way down...trust me. Wash DC's Pentagon quarry is somewhere near by too. :cool:
http://www.bedfordonline.com/archive...our0103_04.jpg

cactus22minus1 Jan 4, 2008 11:17 PM

Quote:

I use to visit some friends in Bedford located just south of Indianapolis. I learned that the Bedford Indiana Limestone Co. was where ESB's cladding came from and that they even offer tours of the Empire State Building quary where it was cut from.
Wow, very interesting information... I had no idea. I went to Indiana University in Bloomington which is very nearby. BILC is right off of 37, no?

CoolCzech Jan 5, 2008 3:50 AM

^Indiana limestone is famous - the Pentagon and National Archive Building in Washington are clad with it, too.

Go7SD Jan 5, 2008 4:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cactus22minus1 (Post 3260702)
Wow, very interesting information... I had no idea. I went to Indiana University in Bloomington which is very nearby. BILC is right off of 37, no?

Yes..the main entrance is just right off 37 just before you hit 50. Yeah, as I was driving my truck over the top of Throg's Neck Bridge (I-295) tonight on my way towards Brentwood (Long Island) I noticed the Empire State Building still had it's holiday colors lit up on it. When I head out tonight after picking up a load of 15,000 lbs worth of napkins to take to Ohio I'm going to cut back across into Brooklyn via I-278 to get a closer view of ESB and the rest of Manhattan. Then cross over the Verrazano into Staten Island for a shot of downtown. Unfortunately, NY law prohibits semi truck thru traffic into Manhattan. The fines are...well, I wouldn't want to find out even though I would like to see ESB really close up. I frequently come to the NY area so next time I will have to take a couple of days off and take the train in from across the river.

Can any of you in NY tell me if there are any trains out of New Rochelle or Union City,NJ? These are possible areas on where I may park my truck and catch a cab to take a train into the city. I pretty much live over the road as a truck driver. just wondering

Dac150 Jan 5, 2008 4:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 3261276)
Can any of you in NY tell me if there are any trains out of New Rochelle or Union City,NJ? These are possible areas on where I may park my truck and catch a cab to take a train into the city.

I'm fairly sure you can catch a train from either of the locations. You can probably also catch an NJ Transit bus from Union City and it'll take you through either of the Westside tunnels, or directly into Downtown.

I'm a student in Manhattan, so I am not that familiar with anything outside the island.

Union City is just across the Hudson correct? You may be able to get something into Penn Station by rail also.

Lecom Jan 5, 2008 5:45 AM

That's quite fascinating, Roy. Thanks for the info.

Go7SD Jan 5, 2008 5:48 AM

yeah, it's right across the Hudson just north of Jersey City where SR495 runs into the Lincoln Tunnel. My truck would actually be parked at one of the service plazas off the NJ Turnpike. Just as I'm looking at the map it looks like it's in Secaucus instead Union City. It's close enough though.

On another note...

Here's the latest news from the Indiana Limestone Company

EMPIRE QUARRY
http://www.indianalimestonecompany.c...ire_new_sm.jpg

source: http://www.indianalimestonecompany.c....php?pageId=98

Indiana Limestone Company expands Empire Quarry

The Empire Quarry, home of the quarry that produced the stone for New York's Empire State Building, among many others, is being expanded. Dave Prince, General Manger of Quarry Operations explains that this is a continuation of the large deposit of Empire Standard Buff and Gray stone that the company has quarried for over 75 years. Stripping of the site started last June and quarry production commenced in May, 2004. Empire Quarry stone is considered a rich textured limestone that is coveted by the cut stone industry.

NYguy Jan 5, 2008 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 3261381)
My truck would actually be parked at one of the service plazas off the NJ Turnpike. Just as I'm looking at the map it looks like it's in Secaucus instead Union City.

That's your best best. The Secaucus Junction (a major NJ Transit transfer station) is there, right next to the turnpike. From there, its about 3 min into Penn Station.

Go7SD Jan 5, 2008 2:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 3261684)
That's your best best. The Secaucus Junction (a major NJ Transit transfer station) is there, right next to the turnpike. From there, its about 3 min into Penn Station.


Thanks NYguy..I'll be looking for it when I return. I will use that as my official NYC stop in the future. I try to plan these stops in other cities across the country.

NYguy Jan 6, 2008 7:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roy McDowell (Post 3261734)
Thanks NYguy..I'll be looking for it when I return. I will use that as my official NYC stop in the future. I try to plan these stops in other cities across the country.

The station:
http://www.archnewsnow.com/features/Feature127.htm


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/...njcover_lg.jpg
ny times

http://www.archnewsnow.com/features/...re0127_08x.jpg
archnewsnow.com

NYguy Jan 6, 2008 8:35 AM

By Craig Both
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2028/...1b474fdd_b.jpg


Even the birds know where to go for a pleasant view...;)

By cherries jubileee
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2196/...c06fabe2_b.jpg

CoolCzech Jan 13, 2008 11:46 PM

NYDailynews.com

Voice of the People
Sunday, January 13th 2008, 4:00 AM

A city's shame

Bayside: Where's the pride in New York City regarding the Empire State Building, that great symbol of our city?

How can W&H Properties be allowed to hire a nonunion company, MDB Development, to do masonry restoration work on the Empire State Building, which was built with the sweat and blood of union workers?

I could cry when I walk by on my way to work and see workers on shaky scaffolding high up on the building, knowing they are not receiving union wages or working under union protections.

It's disgusting to see a big, ugly management rat - set up by unions that support decent wages, safe working conditions and benefits for workers - hovering over a replica of the Empire State Building. Visitors on the tour buses gape at the sight.

It's time Mayor Bloomberg stepped in and ended this disgrace.

Mary Jamison

Lecom Jan 14, 2008 5:28 AM

^A union leader hurt by the fact that her company wasn't hired for the gig?

That statement soulds like it has a good deal of pure tripe. "Workers on shaky scaffolding"... did she personally see the scaffolding shake?

NYguy Jan 14, 2008 1:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3279998)
NYDailynews.com

Bayside: Where's the pride in New York City regarding the Empire State Building, that great symbol of our city?

How can W&H Properties be allowed to hire a nonunion company, MDB Development, to do masonry restoration work on the Empire State Building, which was built with the sweat and blood of union workers?

I could cry when I walk by on my way to work and see workers on shaky scaffolding high up on the building, knowing they are not receiving union wages or working under union protections.

It's disgusting to see a big, ugly management rat - set up by unions that support decent wages, safe working conditions and benefits for workers - hovering over a replica of the Empire State Building. Visitors on the tour buses gape at the sight. It's time Mayor Bloomberg stepped in and ended this disgrace.

Mary Jamison

Just when you though this was the 1 New York project that wouldn't have any controversy.

NYguy Jan 14, 2008 1:48 PM

JANUARY 12, 2008

In case you've never heard of it...

http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91653468/medium.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91653468/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/nyguy/image/91653470/large.jpg

CoolCzech Jan 14, 2008 3:58 PM

I guess management must be worried that the scaffolding will confuse tourists into walking right by without realizing it's the ESB.

NYguy Jan 14, 2008 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3281323)
I guess management must be worried that the scaffolding will confuse tourists into walking right by without realizing it's the ESB.

I only wish that were the case. As much as I love the ESB, I think the owners should be fined by the city everytime 5th Avenue out front becomes too congested to even walk by. The stream of tourists and the line could be managed a lot better than it currently is. There are some people who would actually like to walk on that sidewalk.

CoolCzech Jan 15, 2008 1:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NYguy (Post 3282280)
I only wish that were the case. As much as I love the ESB, I think the owners should be fined by the city everytime 5th Avenue out front becomes too congested to even walk by. The stream of tourists and the line could be managed a lot better than it currently is. There are some people who would actually like to walk on that sidewalk.

I guess things are only going to get worse:

New York City hits tourism record


http://farm1.static.flickr.com/48/12...54956b30d7.jpg

A view of lower Manhattan from the observation deck at the Empire State Building in New York City. (flicker.com)

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City tourism officials say with a falling dollar sweetening the deal for international travelers, a record-setting number of tourists visited the city last year. They spent an estimated $28 billion.

The tourism office estimates 46 million people had visited the city in 2007-- up five percent from 2006.

The jump was largely due to visitors from other countries, who numbered an estimated 8.5 million -- a growth of 17 percent.

But the head of the city tourism office says more than the exchange rate is behind the tourism boom. He says the city is more vibrant, cleaner, safer and exciting than ever before.

New York is one of only a few U.S. urban centers that did not see a drop in the number of overseas visitors between 2000 and 2006.

(whptv.com)

NYguy Jan 15, 2008 1:28 PM

I don't mind all of the tourists in the city, I just wish someone taught them how to walk! It's a moving city. I don't even stop moving to take my photos.

chex Jan 15, 2008 5:28 PM

maybe sometimes you get anoyed by tourist, maybe i do sometimes... but u have to think what happen when u go to another city as tourist? dont u stop to take photos? dont you walk slower than in NY? dont u like to look the surroundings?

NYguy Jan 16, 2008 1:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chex (Post 3284055)
maybe sometimes you get anoyed by tourist, maybe i do sometimes... but u have to think what happen when u go to another city as tourist? dont u stop to take photos?

NO, because I'm not an idiot, and I know that if Im standing on the sidewalk in the middle of a city, there's probably going to be people walking that might actually want to get by. Again, its called a sidewalk, not a sidestand-oblivious-to-the-world-around-you-like-a-complete-moron-walk. You'd do well to remember that when or if you enter the city. You don't have to block pedestrians to take photos.

NYguy Jan 16, 2008 2:03 PM

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wi...,5061452.story

Parachutist says Empire State Building officials defamed him

By SAMUEL MAULL
January 15, 2008

NEW YORK - A former TV host who tried to parachute from the 86th-floor observation deck of the Empire State Building is suing the skyscraper's operators for $12 million, claiming they defamed him by saying he acted illegally.

Jeb Corliss, of Malibu, Calif., says in court papers that the 102-story landmark's operators knew when they made the statement that a judge had dismissed the charge that had been filed against him after his arrest.

Corliss' lawyer, Mark Jay Heller, said no law prohibits jumping from the Empire State Building or any other city structure. He said no signs in the building or statements on visitors' tickets warn against jumping.

Corliss was arrested in April 2006 after he climbed a fence around the observation deck but before he could jump. Days later, he was fired as host of the Discovery Channel's "Stunt Junkies" show.

Corliss, 31, was disguised in a mask and a fat suit. Under the padding he wore a black jump suit and the parachute. He also wore a helmet topped with a camera so he could record the planned plunge.

He said that after security guards handcuffed him to the fence, a police officer saved his life by cutting the parachute rig off his body. He said he explained that he would be killed if the parachute opened because it would jerk his body away from the building and tear his arms out of his shoulders.

In January 2007, state Supreme Court Justice Michael Ambrecht dismissed the indictment against Corliss, saying his actions did not rise to the level of first-degree reckless endangerment, the only crime for which he was indicted.

Heller said outside Manhattan's state Supreme Court, where he filed the lawsuit, that the judge clearly said his client's conduct "was not unlawful."

"They (building officials) said he acted illegally," Heller said. "He did not, and it was defamation for them to allege that he did."

A spokeswoman for the Empire State Building said she had no comment on Corliss' lawsuit.

Last week, the district attorney's office asked a state appeals court to reinstate the charge against Corliss. The court said it would decide later.

Heller also denounced prosecutors for charging Corliss, saying, "It was inappropriate for the district attorney's office to manipulate statutes and try to use reckless endangerment to put my client in jail."

Empire State Building officials filed a $12 million lawsuit last April against Corliss, claiming his stunt attempt was illegal and dangerous and caused the building economic loss, damaged its reputation as a safe venue and caused injury to security guards who stopped him during a struggle. The lawsuit is pending.

Corliss claims to have more than 1,000 BASE (building, antenna, span, earth) parachute jumps. He said Tuesday these included a leap from the Eiffel Tower in Paris and from the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which, at 1,482 feet, were the world's tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004.

NYguy Jan 17, 2008 1:53 AM

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