The New York skyline is world known for its stunning architecture. One of these modern and striking buildings is the Chrysler Building which is 1,046 ft (319m) and was actually the world’s tallest building for 11 months before it was overtaken by the Empire State Building in 1931. It is located on the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.
What makes this building unique is that is was built for the Chrysler car manufacturer company, the corporation didn’t pay for the construction of it and never owned it. Walter P.Chrysler payed for it himself so that his children could inherit it. The building exchanged many hands throughout the years. It is currently owned by the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, aka Cooper Union, a privately funded college.
Construction began in September 19, 1928 and almost 400,000 rivets were used and 3,826,000 bricks were laid by hand to create the non-loadbearing walls of the skyscraper. A quick fact, that the Chrysler Building was built during the great ‘tallest building in the world’ race. Just before completion builders realized it stood even with a rival project at 40 Wall Street. Thus permission for a 38 -meter (125 ft) long spire was obtained and it was constructed in secret.
“Art Deco in France found its American equivalent in the design of the New York skyscrapers of the 1920s. The Chrysler Building … was one of the most accomplished essays in the style.”
–John Julius Norwich, in The World Atlas of Architecture
The Chrysler Building started out as a vehicle manufacturer headquarters and soon turned into a historic icon is the heart of New York city. We hope you enjoyed this little history lesson.