After its completion in 1929, William van Alen’s 77-story Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest building at 925 feet for just a brief period. A proposed redesign of the Bank of Manhattan tower threatened the Chrysler Building by a mere two feet, so Walter P. Chrysler hastily called for a massive spire to be erected. His building quickly became 1046 feet tall. A few months later, however, construction of the Empire State Building was completed, relegating the glorious Chrysler to second place.
Unlike its nearby cousin, the Empire State Building, which glows at night when bathed in a variety of colored lights, the Chrysler Building seems most radiant during the day hours. In the bright sunlight, the upper floors gleam, reflect, and even seem to pulsate light, directing the eye upwards towards the spire. Its gorgeous Art Deco lobby, with murals celebrating transportation themes, is definitely one of New York’s finest. Examine the ornamental details, the typical Deco motifs, the lush marble, and the charming light fixtures, all restored in recent years. Tishman Speyer, the current owner of the building, undertook a significant restoration project, finished in 1999.
Given the current push to restore and celebrate Manhattan’s landmark buildings, one expects that the fabled Cloud Room, a former private club as well as the private dining quarters of Mr. Chrysler located on the 66th, 67th, and 68th floors, will be renovated in the near future.
Telephone: (212) 715-0395
Address: 405 Lexington Avenue
Cross Streets bet. 42nd and 43rd streets
- to 42nd St/Grand Central
- to 42nd St/Grand Central -- 0.1
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