Chrysler Building NYC
Like other New York skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building opened with mixed reviews. The more negative perceptions have slowly changed as its Art Deco architectural style has turned it into a New York icon. In 2007, it was even listed as one of the top ten most famous architectural achievements in the United States.
The distinct crown and spire make the Chrysler Building one of the most distinguished points in the New York City skyline. Viewers can see the skyscraper in everything from Independence Day to Spider-Man to Armageddon. It is also a popular subject for photographs, and even makes a cameo in the song "It's the Hard Knock Life" in the musical Annie.
Chrysler Building Facts
1. What’s in a name? Founder and executive Walter Chrysler had the building designed and constructed for his car manufacturing company—but the building is really named after the man, not the car.
2. The Chrysler Building was the tallest building in New York…briefly. During the 1920s, there was a boom in construction during the race to build the world's tallest building. The 75-story structure held the title for less than a year before the Empire State Building claimed the honor in 1931.
3. The Chrysler Building was the first human-made structure to eclipse 1,000 feet in height. Currently, the building stands at 1,046 feet thanks in large part to the spire, which is 121 feet alone. Interestingly, the peak of the spire is higher than the highest point in the states of Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Rhode Island.
4. There is a lot of everything in the Chrysler Building. That includes 400,000 rivets, nearly 4,000 windows, 4 million bricks, and 105,000,000 pounds of foundation. At the time, it cost $20 million to build, and the building sold for $150 million as recently as 2019.
5. The purchase of the Chrysler Building for $150 million was a bargain. An Abu Dhabi investment fund, Mubadala, purchased 90 percent of the building for $800 million back in 2008. Due to soaring rent prices, they decided to sell the building nearly a decade later for pennies on the dollar.
6. The Chrysler Building should win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Skyscraper. Author and architect James Sanders made this joke because the Chrysler Building never appears as the primary setting in a film. Instead, it is often relegated to cameos and scene-setting roles.
7. The iconic spire took only 90 minutes to erect. This speed is attributable to the 1920s race to claim the title of "World's Tallest Building." The project managers used the spire to ensure their building would garner the edge over its competitor, the Empire State Building.
8. The Chrysler Building is the first of its kind. While the Art Deco crown and spire make the exterior of the building distinct, one of the trailblazing traits is the use of "18-8 stainless steel." This alloy has 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel, and before the Chrysler Building, developers had never used it in an American project.
Chrysler Building Observation Deck
If you are visiting the Chrysler Building in NYC, do not plan on taking a trip to the top of the structure. Yes, it is located at 405 Lexington Avenue, and the deck, in theory, would provide a bird's eye view of the East River, Central Park, and Mid-Town Manhattan. Unfortunately, the section of the building where the deck is located closed in 1945 and is currently occupied by a private tenant.
The building did have an observation deck open to the public through its first 15 years of existence, though. The section was known as Celestial and sat on the 71st floor. Unfortunately, today, there is no way for visitors to go higher than the lobby.
Make sure to check out the Chrysler Building the next time you are in Mid-Town Manhattan. Even though the lobby and exterior are the only parts open to the public, they are worth the visit. The Art Deco design and distinguished spire have made the building one of the crowning jewels of New York's world-renowned skyline.
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