Chrysler Building: the Prominent Tower Of New York City 

The Chrysler Building is literally the skyscraper that is the most fascinating and renowned for its Art Deco-style architecture. It faces the sky somewhere on the east side of Manhattan. This remarkably tall construction standing at a height of 320 meters (1,047 feet) was among top most towering buildings until the 1930s, before being overtaken by another prominent and huge building - Empire State - in 1931. In 2022 this building was the 11th-tallest facility in the city and this is fantastic for almost 100 years of history!

The owner's business story

Walter Percy Chrysler was the director of the Chrysler Corporation producing world-famous and huge cars. The company is one of the "Big Three" automobile manufacturers in the United States, including General Motors, the first to form a large, multi-brand, motor-vehicle enterprise (in the 1910s), followed by Chrysler Corporation and the Ford Motor Company, all before World War II. They were for a while the three gigantic in the world, with GM and Ford remaining as mainstays in the top five. The Big Three are distinguished not just by their extent and topography, but also by their business model. All three have their offices in the Detroit area. Chrysler is the American associate of the multinational automotive corporation Stellantis. In expansion to the Chrysler brand, Stellantis North America markets vehicles worldwide under the Dodge and Jeep nameplates. 

Facts about the Chrysler Corporation

The original Chrysler Corporation has a long and complicated history being founded in 1925 by Walter Chrysler from the remains of the Maxwell Motor Company. It was developed by Daimler-Benz, which in 1998 renamed itself DaimlerChrysler. During its history, the company became famous for the military production of tanks, missiles, airplanes, and other engines for defense purposes, even for Space boosters for NASA. Walter Chrysler invested in the Chrysler Building construction in New York City, which was achieved in 1930 and he was called Time magazine's Man of the Year for 1928. Despite the fact that the Chrysler Building was particularly designed and built for the manufacturer of automobiles, the enterprise did not spend a penny on its construction and never owned it; Walter Chrysler decided to subsidize the total expense privately so his juniors could inherit it. An extension was ended in 1953, and the tower was sold by the Chrysler relatives the next year, with multiple successive proprietors.

Make sure to visit this famous landmark skyscraper on your NYC sightseeing tours with a local private tour guide and catch a glimpse of this beautiful edifice from outside and inside as well. You can see the lobby inside and appreciate the beauty of the ceiling murals and the fine Art deco elements here. The rest of the building is not available for visitors as it is mainly used as an office building by many commercial establishments.

There are many walking tours that are offered as part of the itinerary by NYC tour operators. You can take advantage of these NYC sightseeing tours to gather valuable information about the history and facts related to different destinations from NYC local personal tour guides. Most of the local tour guides have rich knowledge about the architecture and construction of this grand skyscraper and can take you around to make your sightseeing trips more interesting and memorable.

Brief history of the edifice

The Chrysler Building is among the principal attractions on the NYC sightseeing tours and can be found along the East side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. The exact location is along the junction of 42nd street and Lexington Avenue amidst the Turtle Bay neighborhood. 

This installation is one of the best examples of classic Art Deco-style architecture and looks amazingly beautiful. It was also included on the list of America’s favorite Architecture and ranked 9th. The site is approximately a trapezoid with a 61 m frontage on Lexington Avenue; a 51 m frontage on 42nd Street; and a 62 m frontage on 43rd Street. The east side of the building's floor is likewise aslant. The edifice is allocated its own ZIP Code, 10174, it was one of 41 buildings in Manhattan that retained their own ZIP Codes.

It is formed of a steel framing infilled with masonry, with areas of ornamental iron cladding. The system contains 3,862 exterior windows which are positioned in grids and do not have window sills, the frames being flush with the front. Approximately 50 metal ornaments protrude at the building's hubs on five floors reminiscent of gargoyles on Gothic cathedrals. The 31st floor contains gargoyles as well as replications of the 1928 Chrysler radiator caps, and the 61st floor is garnished with eagles as a nod to America's federal bird.

From the 1930s to the mid-1950s, this building used to be the headquarters of Chrysler Corporation-the automobile giant. William Van Alen became the architect who designed this project for the car manufacturer at a time when there was a stiff contest in New York City to construct the most raised tower on the planet. 

The floor plans of the first 16 floors were made as immense as possible to increase the number of rooms for rent closest to the base level, which was noticed as most hot. The U-shaped indentation above the fourth floor is suited as a shaft for airflow and luminance. The space between floors 30 and 27 added visual attraction to the building's central part, stemming it from being overwhelmed by the fatty detail of the more down floors and the eye-catching arrangement of the pinnacle. They provide a bottom to the tower column, causing a shift between the lofty shaft and the lower stories.

The interior walls are covered with huge slabs of African red granite. There is a barrier board devoted to the work of toppers, surveyors, masons, carpenters, plasterers, and builders. 50 different sculptures were sported after workers who experienced in its building.

The entry has shady lighting with integrated appliqués of the lamps, completing the intimate surroundings and emphasizing the space. Upright bars of fluorescent rays are coated with Belgian somber marble and Mexican amber onyx bands, which muffle and diffuse the glow. Opposite the Lexington Avenue entry is a safety patrol desk crowned by a digital chronograph. Above individual stairs are aluminum-leaf shelters with glass chandeliers.

There are 32 lifts in the skyscraper. At the time of introduction, 28 of the elevators were for passenger service. Each lift bank fits different floors within the building, with several "express" elevators going from the lobby to a few docks in between, while "local" lifts connect the landings with the floors above these middle docks. Even though the wood panels in the elevator cabs were positioned in four elemental prints, each cab had a fantastic mixture of timbers.

The Chrysler Building is well-known for its crown with different level terraces, which is the most recognizable decoration of the central overlook. The entire crown is clad with steel, ribbed, and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, reminiscent of the spokes of a wheel. The windows are duplicated, in a smaller setup, on the terraced crown's seven narrow setbacks. The base floor shell is wrapped in polished black granite from Shenstone, while the three floors further it is clad in white marble from Georgia, USA.

The dome and spire are enlightened by a variety of fluorescent lamps articulating the crown's remarkable triangular windows and stained floodlights that face toward the structure, allowing it to be lit in a variety of techniques for special events.

The private Cloud Club previously inhabited the 68th through 66th floors. It opened in July 1930 with 300 members, all wealthy gentlemen who formed the city's elite. The Cloud Club was a concession between William Van Alen's modern style and Walter Chrysler's stately and time-honored preferences. An associate had to be selected and, if taken, paid an initial fee of 200USD, plus a 150USD to 300USD annual cost.

Initially, Walter Chrysler kept a two-story flat on the 69th and 70th floors with a fireplace and a private headquarters. The office also included a gym and the loftiest restrooms in the city. The headquarters had a medieval ambiance with leaded windows, ornate rigid doors, and heavy application. Chrysler did not utilize his gym much, instead choosing to remain in Detroit at the Chrysler Corporation's headquarters. Afterward, the 69th and 70th floors were altered into a dental clinic. The office unmoving had the suite's original washroom and gym. Chrysler also held a department on the 60th through 58th stories, which functioned as his residency.

From the building's beginning until 1945, it contained a 360 square meters observation terrace on the 71st floor, called "Celestial". Since 1986, the old tower terrace has housed the headquarters of developers Harvey Morse and Cowperwood Interests.

In 2001, a 75% stake in the edifice was sold, for $460 million to the German associate of an Atlanta-based acquisition fund. In July 2008, it was declared that the deal had been achieved and that the Abu Dhabi Investment Council now owned a 90% stake in the building.

How To Visit The Chrysler Building?

If you are visiting New York City, it’s a must to visit this lovely and tall Chrysler skyscraper on your NYC sightseeing tours with a local private tour guide. There are no tickets for visiting this place but it’s open to visitors and the public for viewing during business hours on weekdays. The Chrysler Building is easily accessible via public transport using the subway that leads you to the Grand Central station.

Get the amazing opportunity to catch a glimpse of the amazing exterior of this building. The ornamental top is the focal point and can be viewed from different points and the best way to see this great exterior is through the observation sundeck of the Empire State Building.

You can read our article about the Empire State Building here - A local excursion to EMPIRE STATE BUILDING (ESB) in New York City​


You can also explore some of the other nearby attractions around this building including the United Nations Building, Rockefeller Centre, and Times Square. Waldorf Astoria among others.

The Chrysler Building was created by keeping the design and esthetics of the automobile major that combined some fine artistic elements. On the 31st floor, you can find some striking features including the silver winged ornaments that adorn the four corners of the base. The radiator caps used in the Chrysler vehicles were used as a symbol depicting the God of Mercury, which was a source of inspiration for Walter Chrysler.

You can find images of the 1929 Chrysler Speedster which are used as motifs around the winged caps. However, the most distinguishing characteristic of this building is the alluring crown that comprises seven terraced arches that reflect upwards to create a lovely sunburst pattern. At the end of the crown, you can find a 197 ft steel spire which is simply amazing and the crown itself is made from stainless steel manufactured by the German Krupp Company.

Helicopter Tours To See The Fascinating Chrysler Building

If you want to catch a spectacular view of the famous New York City skyscrapers, then it’s worth taking a helicopter tour that takes you through an exciting tour of New York City. Get a bird’s eye view of some of the best attractions around New York City to see the Hudson River along the New York City Harbor and see the astonishing beauty of 2 the most prominent buildings of Middletown - the Chrysler and the Empire State. The helicopter tour takes you along Greenwich village, The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the South Street Seaport.

Interesting Facts To Know About Chrysler Building

  • Chrysler Building is one of the first man-made structures in the world that stands taller than 1000 feet. Within a few months of its opening on May 30th, 1930, it was surpassed by the Empire State Building due to its height, but it still continues to remain the tallest steel-supported brick construction in the world.

  • At the time of the construction of this structure in 1928, there were 391,881 rivets that were used and around 3,826,000 bricks were laid physically for building the non-load-bearing walls of this massive skyscraper.
  • The Chrysler relatives traded this edifice in 1953 but still, the establishment has the original name of the Chrysler.

  • In 2005, Skyscraper Museum in New York City created a poll and asked 100 architects, builders, critics, engineers, scholars, and many others to come up with their 10 most favorites among the 25 towers. Surprisingly, the Chrysler building bagged first place as almost 90% of them had voted it among their top favorites.
  • This art deco masterpiece has been featured in many popular movies including Armageddon, Deep Impact, and Godzilla along with television shows, and is also considered to be a pop culture icon.
  • There is no more observation terrace in Chrysler like on most of the famous buildings in New York City, but the marble lobby inside gives impressive views of the fine architecture and its interiors.

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