The Empire State Building: an American icon
The Empire State Realty Trust has announced that it will be adding yet another innovation to the Empire State Building, in the form of an auxiliary Master FM Radio antenna atop the tower.
The construction of the antenna, currently encased within a protective construction cocoon, has not impact daily operations of the building. The presence of the cocoon allows work to be done to the antenna 24 hours a day, rather than a restrictive five, even in bad weather.
Work on the tower previously meant shutting down several broadcast operations, but the project will but an end to that. The new antenna includes a radio-frequency-shielded climbing aperture allowing TV antenna work on the Empire State’s tower to be performed without impacting existing signals.
The cocoon is the largest known construction enclose ever assembled on an occupied skyscraper, and has the potential to change the construction industry. The restoration project is being undertaken by JLL and Skanska, and should be completed next year.
Thomas P. Durels, Executive Vice President and Director of leasing and Operations at the Empire State Realty Trust, said: "As the World's Most Famous Building, the Empire State Building constantly innovates, and this new construction protection process in our tower restoration project is just another example. The Empire State Building, fortunately, attracts the best and the brightest to our work, and the world benefits."
As well as being the world’s most famous building, the Empire State was the tallest skyscraper in the world for 42 years, preceded by the Chrysler Tower and surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972. It was also the tallest free-standing structure in the world for 36 years before the Ostankino Tower overtook it at 1967.
The tower was designed by William F. Lamb from Shreve, Lamb and Harmon, and the building drawings were put together in only two weeks, with the tower designed from the top down. Excavation began in January 1930, and construction began in March, with 3,400 workers working on the project. The ribbon was cut on the completed tower in May 1931. It took only 410 days. The opening unfortunately coincided with the Great Depression, meaning that much of it remained unrented for a long time, earning it the title of ‘Empty State Building’. It did not become profitable until 1950.
At the time, there was stiff competition from 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building for world’s tallest building, but they were both overtaken by the Empire State. It briefly became the tallest building in New York City once again after the September 11 attacks, and is currently the fifth tallest building in the Americas, surpassed by the new One World’s Trade Center, among others. The Empire State Building is the 25th tallest in the world, and remains an icon of American culture.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.