The history of this iconic skyscraper begins in 1799, when a farmer bought the large plot of land for a mere $2,500. Less than 30 years later, William Astor bought the farm for $20,500, where the land became home to a series of mansions and hotels. In 1928, the hotel and property were sold for $20 million, and construction of the Empire State Building began less than two years later. Growing at times nearly 5 stories each week, the building was ready to open after a little more than a year, featuring an opening ceremony headed by President Hoover. The Empire State Building continued to gain its share of attention afterward, being pictured in King Kong in 1933, hit by a World War II bomber in 1945, and welcoming its 50 millionth visitor in 1975. In 1980, because of the large number of tenants, the building received its very own zip code. In 1986, it became a National Historic Landmark, and today, it’s the most photographed building in the United States.