The Chrysler Building located in the Turtle Bay area , Manhattan , is an Art Deco skyscraper and a iconic image of New York City . Standing at 319 metres (1,047 ft), it was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.
Design & construction
The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture considered by the architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City . It was the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 until the mid 1950’s, but although the building was built and designed specifically for the car manufacturer, the corporation didn’t pay for the construction and never owned it, as Walter P. Chrysler decided to pay for it himself .
The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler. When the ground breaking occurred on September 19, 1928, there was an intense competition in New York City to build the world’s tallest skyscraper. Tthe building was built at an average rate of four floors per week and fortunately no workers died during the construction. The Chrysler building was in a race with the Bank of Manhattan (40 Wall Street) for obtaining the title of tallest building in the world. It looked like the Bank of Manhattan would win the race, with an expected height of 282 meter (927ft) against around 230 meter for the Chrysler building. But the spire of the Chrysler building was constructed in secret inside the tower. Upon completion, May 20, 1930, the added height of the spire allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass 40 Wall Street as the tallest building in the world . It was the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (305 m). The Chrysler Building was then surpassed in height by the Empire State Building, but the Chrysler Building is still the world’s tallest steel-supported brick building. In total, almost 400,000 rivets were used and approximately 3,826,000 bricks were manually laid.
Chrysler Building’s Art Deco interior is even more magnificent than its exterior. The marble floors and many Art Deco patterns such as on the stylish elevator doors make the Chrysler Building one of New York’s most beautiful office towers.
The building’s design by architect William van Alen was largely dismissed by contemporary architecture critics, who claimed the spire’s design was kitsch but ever since its construction the popularity of the building has grown constantly, both among New Yorkers and architecture critics. It is now regarded as one of America’s greatest buildings and a major tourist attraction site .The Chrysler Building picture appears often on the cover of architectural books and magazines.
Admission to the Chrysler Building is free of charge and the building is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, but keep in mind that the building is currently used for business not just a tourist attraction. There is no access beyond the lobby for visitors to the Chrysler Building.