Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Chrysler Building

Location:   Midtown Manhattan
Year:   1930 

The Chrysler Building in 1930

The Chrysler Building. Begun in 1928, at the peak of the halcyon Roaring Twenties, the building was completed in 1930, at the beginning of The Great Depression. It was the first skyscraper to reach 1000 feet, and was the tallest building in the world, at 1,046 feet, for eleven months, until it was overtopped by The Empire State Building in 1931. 

The tower and the spire at night

It is still the largest brick building in the world. More than 3,826,000 bricks were used in its construction (along with a steel skeleton),  and among admirers it is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, an Art Deco masterpiece far more graceful and streamlined than the boxier and more massive Empire State Building.

Details of the tower

Although the building was originally built for the Chrysler Corporation, the auto giant never owned it. Walter P. Chrysler loved the building so much that he stepped in and bought the building outright so that it could become a family heirloom. 

A detail of the building cornices, matching Chrysler hood ornaments of the time

Chrysler had his auto designers add many of the artistic flourishes and details that mark out the building to this day.
Lighting in the elevators

Many of their designs later appeared (and still appear) as detailing on Chrysler vehicles.  

The view from the north tower windows

As a last detail, Chrysler ordered the building's distinctive spire, adding several million dollars to the building's construction costs.  He later refused to pay the architect his full fee.   

Hall lighting in the building

No comments:

Post a Comment