Like a beautiful monument to Art Deco design, The Chrysler Building rises over 900 feet above Midtown Manhattan. The combination of hand laid brickwork and the stainless steel crown makes the Chrysler Building a shining jewel along the New York City Skyline. A fixture of the intersection of East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, the Chrysler Building is a world famous structure that reflects the history of skyscraper in America.
The design and construction of the Chrysler Building was part of a boom in skyscraper construction that started in the late 1800s. As more people migrated from farms and small towns to large urban areas, the land that was available for development quickly dried up and became more expensive. The result was a push to build up instead of out and buildings became taller. Cities like New York, St. Louis and Chicago entered into an informal race to build the biggest, tallest and grandest of buildings.
It was in the middle of this race for sky that the skyline of New York would be forever changed. The official groundbreaking for the historic Chrysler Building was in September 1928 with original design calling for a much shorter building. A change in the design would briefly make the Chrysler Building the tallest building in the world. By the time construction was completed, the Chrysler Building would stand 925 feet.
The most well known and arguably noticeable feature of the Chrysler Building in the top or crown. The crown is covered in a unique stainless steel alloy that extends down about 200 feet from the top. Before the stainless steel covering was incorporated in the design , the crown of the building called for using large glass panels at the corners that would be illuminated from inside the building. Whether lit by the sun or the special exterior lighting, the crown has a sunburst appearance that is accented by numerous triangle shaped windows.
Considered a masterpiece of Art Deco design, the Chrysler Building is as beautiful inside as it is outside. Painted ceilings and marble walls adorn the lobby and the exterior of the building is accented by mechanical forms reflecting the Industrial Age. The 71st floor provided visitors with a spectacular panoramic view of the city until it was closed in 1945.
The Chrysler Building claim to the title as the world’s tallest building was short lived. The Empire State Building would be completed just eleven short months after the
Chrysler Building opened in 1931.