The Chrysler Building is the most stylish skyscraper in New York City. Built in the late 1920s, it was for a few months the tallest building in the world – losing out to the Empire State Building once their construction completed.
To most, it is most famous for it’s ‘hood ornaments’, befitting a building built for a car company.
Built in the classic art deco style, it appears to have perfect symmetry, but in reality the building is built in a trapezoid shape. This shape is a result of it being built on land that had been laid out along the path of the old Boston Post Road, which pre-dated the 1811 Manhattan Grid Plan.
With a height over 1,000 feet it is the tallest brick building in the world.
The 61st floor features eagles.
In 1916 New York City enacted a ‘setback’ law. This law did not limit height, but required setbacks in the design to allow light and air to reach the streets below.
As a result many of the buildings built from then until the 1950s have a ‘wedding cake’ style to them.
As noted previously the ‘gargoyles’ on the Chrysler Building are hood ornaments. The ones featured on the 31st floor are enlargements of the exact hood ornaments on the Chrysler automobiles of the day.
The style and color of the ornaments blend perfectly with the lightly colored bricks.
The crown is capped using ‘Nircosta’ stainless steel, as are the ornaments, window frames and needle.
An entrance to the building continues the art deco theme.
According to the documentation, the lobby is representative of German Impressionism.
The lobby floors are massive pieces of African red granite, with Italian travertine in the elevator entrances.
In addition to the travertine, the elevator lobbies have ornate wall designs.
While many New York City landmarks won’t even let you in the lobby (talking to you Woolworth Building), visitors are welcome here, albeit only in the lobby.
The security guard did point out to me that we should wait for this specific express elevator to arrive and open as it has a unique interior.
The ceiling has a large mural called ‘Transport and Human Endeavor’.
A longer view of one of the elevator lobbies. There are 32 elevators in total.
The lower level continues the art deco look, only in black.
The Chrysler Building – One of the best.