The Empire State Building may tower over the distant island of Manhattan, but a Marine Park man has a copy that’s nearly as impressive siting in his dining room.
The 7-foot-9 brass replica of the iconic edifice had been a gift to Frank Sinatra to commemorate the crooner’s signature tune “New York, New York,” and Milton Wellen picked it up at a Sinatra memorabilia auction 20 years ago.
The Marine Park resident said the song that inspired the replica and became the city’s anthem will always be one of his favorite Sinatra songs.
“I still enjoy that ‘New York, New York,’ ” said Wellen.
The statue was given to Sinatra after he sang the Big Apple-themed hit, according to Wellen, who purchased the statue at an auction house for $2,000 in 1995.
He said the sparkling statue — which was once displayed in Sinatra’s home in Palm Springs — was expected to sell for between $600 and $800, but because there was another interested buyer, Wellen said he ended up shelling out more than double the estimated price.
But Wellen said the brass building is worth every penny.
“The joy you get out of it is worth the money,” he said. “It is really a beautiful replica of the Empire State Building.”