Ken Burns has a younger brother named Ric who also makes documentaries. His film New York: A Documentary Film aired on PBS from 1999 to 2003, and includes a segment on the building of the Empire State Building:
This video is Part 1 of 3 that cover the Empire State Building. Kottke.org has the other two parts embedded in one easy-to-view page here. Jason Kottke also calls out some highlights, including this one:
At the peak of construction, the workers were adding 4-5 stories a week. During one 22-day stretch, 22 new floors were erected. From start to finish, the entire building took an astonishing 13 months to build, about the same amount of time recently taken by the MTA to fix the right side of the stairs of the Christopher Street subway station entrance.
Two years ago when they were building the Ritz Tower in downtown L.A., there was a stretch where they were putting up a floor every five days. I remember that seeming like a screaming pace. These guys were going 4-5 per week!?