Joe emails (with the above photo):
Re: The Mystery Hole at Empire State Plaza
I figured you guys might know - I can't even speculate as to what the hell this structure is and its always puzzled me. The view is looking east over the side of ESP near the egg. Why are the walls so high? What in the blue blazes is this thing??
We've wondered about those holes, too. (You can see them very clearly in satellite photos.) And we had some guesses.
But to get the word straight from the source, we contacted the New York State Office of General Services, which runs the ESP.
Here's the answer from Heather Groll, a spokesperson for the OGS:
There are 2 "tubes." The smaller one is for [air] intake and the larger is for exhaust. They serve the ventilation system for the ESP GARAGE. The high walls are a safety feature, and they also provide an architectural/sculptural interest.
So, in other words, the holes are the ESP parking garage's nostrils.
By the way: based on a rough estimate from satellite photos, the larger hole is about 50 feet across, and the smaller about 38 feet wide.
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