Chrysler Building – Tourist Attractions in New York City
Chrysler Building in NYC, New York, USA
The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Standing 1,047 feet (319 meters) high, it was briefly the world’s tallest building before it was overtaken by the Empire State Building in 1931. After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it is again the second tallest building in New York City. This classic example of Art Deco architecture is considered by many to be the finest building in New York City.
The skyscraper, designed by architect William Van Alen, was originally built to house the Chrysler Corporation. The groundbreaking occurred on September 19, 1928. At the time, the builders of New York were engaged in an intense competition to build the world’s tallest skyscraper. The Chrysler Building was erected at an average rate of four floors per week and no workers were killed during construction. Just prior to its completion, the building stood about even with the rival project 40 Wall Street, designed by H. Craig Severance. Severance quickly increased the height of his project by two feet and claimed the title of the world’s tallest building (this distinction excluded structures that were not fully habitable, such as the Eiffel Tower).
Van Alen secretly obtained permission to build a spire that was hidden inside the building during construction. The spire, measuring 125 feet (58.4 meters) long and composed of Nirosta stainless steel, was hoisted to the top of the building on October 23, 1929. The added height allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass both 40 Wall Street and the Eiffel Tower as the tallest building and the tallest structure in the world. It was also the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (305 meters). The steel chosen to cap the building was Krupp KA2 “Enduro” Steel. The building opened to the public on May 27, 1930. In less than a year, the Chrysler Building was surpassed in height by the Empire State Building. Van Alen’s satisfaction was later muted by Walter Chrysler’s refusal to pay his fee.
The building was renovated in 1978 – 1979, during which the entrance hall was constructed in granite, marble and steel. The spire underwent a restoration that was completed in 1995. The building was eventually bought by real estate mogul Alex DiLorenzo through his Wellington Associates corporation, which currently holds over $10 billion worth of property in New York, Los Angeles, South Florida and abroad, under the Wellington Associates corporation as well as DiLorenzo’s numerous other corporate names and trusts. DiLorenzo sold it to the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, which subsequently sold it to Jack Kent Cooke, a Washington, D.C. investor. The building is presently co-owned by TMW Real Estate, with three-quarters of the ownership, and Tishman Speyer Properties, with the remaining one-quarter of ownership.