The Chrysler Building
405 Lexington Avenue
On May 28th, 1930, the Chrysler Building, one of the most iconic buildings in New York City and an enduring art-deco masterpiece, was constructed. It towered over mid-town Manhattan at 1,046 feet. Architect William Van Alen designed the skyscraper—the world's tallest for less than a year until the Empire State Building stole the title in 1931.
Commissioned in the 1920s by Walter P. Chrysler, the Chrysler chairman, the building was intended to become their corporate headquarters. As a result, a variety of architectural details of the building were modeled after Chrysler’s products, for example, the gargoyles which resemble the hood ornaments of the Plymouth. The corporation did not pay for the construction of the Chrysler Building and never owned it; rather Walter P. Chrysler paid for it himself so that his children could inherit it.
The Chrysler Building is considered a leading example of Art Deco architecture. The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles; on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps. Its terraced crown is composed of seven radiating terraced arches with transitioning setbacks, mounted up one behind another. The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown.
It remains a breathtaking building, making any view of it a million dollar listing!