February 27, 2015

Dear Friends...

New York City Tours & Sightseeing | M2M Tours – The Chrysler Building

The history of One of New York City’s Most Iconic Landmarks, The Chrysler Building

M2M NYC Tous | The Chrysler Building - Overhead View1928 was a year of many significant firsts. 3M launched Scotch tape, George Eastman showed the first color motion picture, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, and New Yorkers were enthralled with Babe Ruth and the Yankees, the first team to sweep two consecutive World Series. Baseball wasn’t the only competition in town however; a competition to build the worlds’ tallest skyscraper was beginning.

A classic example of Art Deco architecture, the Chrysler Building would become one of the first to extensively use stainless steel over an exposed building surface; it would also be the world’s tallest steel-supported brick building. Optimistic and reflective of the Jazz Age, the tower rises 77 stories and culminates in a beautifully tapered, stainless steel crown supporting a spire that pierces the sky and raises the height of the building to 1048 feet. It is considered by many to be the world’s quintessential skyscraper design. Caught up in the quest to become the tallest in the world and completed in 1930, it succeeded briefly for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building (a distinction it would hold for more than forty years).M2M NYC Tous | The Chrysler Building - Construction
The idea to become the tallest building in the world came out of Walter P. Chrysler’s (founder of the Chrysler Corporation) hubris. The structure, separate from the auto industry, was designed as a business venture for Chrysler’s two sons, who were not interested in joining their father in the car industry. It was, in Chrysler’s mind, a huge monument to himself. The project was financed out of his own pocket, ensuring that his sons would get ownership. He was to have an office suite and apartment with an exquisite dining room at the top and asked his builders to make sure that his toilet was the highest in Manhattan so he could look down, and as an observer put it, “shit on Henry Ford and the rest of the world.”
The building’s aesthetic represents the Chrysler automobile and the machine age of the 1920’s. Gargoyles and eagles ornament the building like the hood ornaments of the Plymouth automobile. The corner ornaments were made to look like the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps. Because of its iconic and M2M NYC Tous | The Chrysler Building - Iconic Gargoyles
beautiful design, the height of the building never really mattered. It may not be the tallest building in New York, but it is a beloved landmark. Considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City, its distinctive profile has influenced skyscraper design worldwide.
The Chrysler Building, it’s rich history and beauty are a favorite for M2M tour participants and we love telling them the story behind the story!

Iain Cameron

Category: Architecture, Attractions, History, Landmarks, NYC Skyline

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