Yesterday we looked at the newly renovated lobby of the Empire State Building, and all its Art Deco glory made us nostalgic. LIFE magazine images are often good for curing that; they even have a whole gallery of the building being made by hand. Enough to make you reread The Fountainhead.

One of those men putting his blood, sweat and tears into the construction of the 1930's era building, however, was the first to kill himself by jumping off it before its completion. 29 more have followed since. Another was 23-year-old Evelyn McHale, whose 1947 plunge resulted in the World's Most Beautiful Suicide.