In one of the more iconic images of the early 20th century, a faked photograph shows a blimp mooring at the top of the Empire State Building. The tower was originally designed with such moorings in mind, but the entire idea was a bust from the get-go.
Here’s the schematic showing how passengers would disembark from a transatlantic dirigible, take stairs down from the 103rd floor platform to the 102nd, and then the elevator to a processing station on the 86th floor. never mind that dirigibles had their passenger compartment in the center, and passengers would be required to navigate narrow passages to get to any potential nose exit.
The 103rd floor is largely a mechanical room, but it has a narrow door leading to the outside balcony:
If you’re a dignitary, there’s a chance you can get up there for a photo op – here former Buffalo Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Notice how low the balcony wall is, which is why the general public is not permitted.
As for why they never went ahead with the dirigible plan?
The US Navy, testing its airship the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3), saw it rise to a near-vertical position, after her tail rose out-of-control while she was moored at the high mast at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1927.
Airships can only be moored by the nose at such masts, and severe updrafts from the Empire State Building would have whipped any dirigible around like a child’s balloon.
Well, at least they managed it somehow in “Fringe.”
Showing the alternate universe to the military
The Old Wolf has spoken.