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Shreve, Lamb and Harmon

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Empire State Building


Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon was the architectural firm best known for the 1931 Empire State
Building, the tallest building in New York, and the world, at that time.
The firm was formed in 1929 by the Canadian Richmond Harold ("R.H.") Shreve, William F.
Lamb from Brooklyn, and Arthur Loomis Harmon from Chicago. Shreve and Lamb had worked
together and formed their own practice in 1924. Shreve was the businessman and organiser, and
Lamb was the designer.
Harmon came into the partnership in 1929, after the Empire State Building was already
underway. In their first meeting with the client John Jacob Raskob, Lamb asked Raskob about
his vision for the building. Raskob stood a pencil on end and said, "How high can you make it so
that it won't fall down?"