BALTIMORE, MD. — New York’s venerable Empire State Building, completed in 1931, is undergoing an extensive $550 million renovation, including $12.5 million to bring the art deco lobby back to its original grandeur.
An elaborate mural in the building’s lobby originally included a wind display dial, which indicated current wind speed and direction. The wind readings were obtained from weather sensors installed on the 87th floor. Over the years, the weather system was dismantled and the wind display dial was replaced with a clock. The architectural historians overseeing the renovations discovered that the original weather equipment was made in the early 1930s by 130 year old Baltimore-based Belfort Instrument Company. So they called upon Belfort to replicate the historic weather detection system.
A new replication of the original art deco dial, based on the original design, was supplied by Belfort and has been installed in the lobby. Two modern weather stations were placed on the 87th floor platform, on opposite ends of the building. One station just detects wind speed and direction. The second station gathers a wide range of weather information, including temperature, relative humidity, pressure, visibility range and resolution, and lightning detection, as well as wind speed and direction. This up-to-the-minute information will appear on a graphic display in the visitor center, and will also be available on-line to the building’s tenants through their internal internet system.
Belfort Instrument Company has been a leading provider of weather instruments to government, professional meteorology and aviation markets for over 130 years.