The designers of the ESB were trying to design a high-rise “skyport” capable of receiving passengers from transatlantic dirigible flights. Keep in mind that this was in the 1930s, before the advent of jet air travel, when the only practical way to cross the North Atlantic was by steamship.
I agree the helipads are pretty cool. There’s one in Pittsburgh atop the US Steel Tower. Once, when I worked in US Steel Group’s Law Department, one of the maintenance supervisors who was a friend of mine took me up for a look around. I thought that was a neat experience.
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