Chrysler Building

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Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building was the world's tallest building from 27 May 1930 to 1931.*

Preceded by 40 Wall Street
Surpassed by Empire State Building
Information
Location New York, New York, USA
Status Complete
Constructed 1928-1930
Height
Antenna/Spire 1,047' (318.9 m)
Roof 925' (282.0 m)
Top floor 899' (274.0 m)
Technical Details
Floor count 77
Floor area 1,195,000 sq. ft.
111,201 sq. m
Elevator count 32
Companies
Architect William Van Alen
* Fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to rooftop; see world's tallest structures for other listings.</font>
Image:Chrysler elevator.jpg
Elevator interior with inlaid wood

The Chrysler Building is a skyscraper and distinctive symbol of New York City, standing 1,046 feet (319 m) high on the east side of Manhattan at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Originally built for the Chrysler Corporation, the building is presently co-owned by TMW Real Estate (75%) and Tishman Speyer Properties (25%). The Chrysler Building was the first structure in the world to surpass the 1,000 foot (305 m) threshold. It was overtaken by the Empire State Building as the tallest building in the world in 1931.

Groundbreaking was on September 19, 1928. At the time the building was erected, the builders of New York were in the throes of a stiff competition to build the world's tallest skyscraper. The Chrysler building was constructed at an average rate of 4 floors per week, and no workers were killed during construction. Just prior to completion, the building stood even with H. Craig Severance's 40 Wall Street. Severance subsequently added two feet to his building, and claimed the title of the world's tallest building (this distinction excluded "structures", such as the Eiffel Tower).

Not one to be outdone, the architect William Van Alen had already secretly obtained permission to build a 185 foot (58.4 m) spire, which was being constructed inside of the building. The spire, composed of 'Nirosta' stainless steel, was hoisted to the top of the building on October 23, 1929, making the Chrysler Building not only the world's tallest building, but also the world's tallest structure. The steel chosen to cap the building was Krupp KA2 "Enduro" Steel. Van Alen and Chrysler enjoyed this distinction for less than a year, before it was surrendered to the Empire State Building. Unfortunately, Mr. Van Alen's satisfaction was muted by Walter Chrysler's refusal to pay his fee. The Chrysler Building opened to the public on May 27, 1930 with an opening ceremony.

Contents

[edit] Architecture

The Chrysler Building is a famous example of Art Deco architecture, and the distinctive ornamentation of the tower is based on features that were then being used on Chrysler automobiles. The corners of the 61st floors are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments[1]. On the 31st floors the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps[2]. The building is constructed of masonry, with a steel frame, and metal cladding.

The lobby is similarly elegant. When the building first opened it contained a public viewing gallery near the top, which a few years later was changed into a restaurant, but neither of these enterprises was able to be financially self sustaining during the Great Depression and the former observation floor became a private dining room called the Cloud Club. The very top stories of the building are narrow with low sloped ceilings, designed mostly for exterior appearance with interiors useful only to hold radio broadcasting and other mechanical and electrical equipment.

There are two sets of lighting in the top spires and decoration. The first are the V-shaped lighting inserts in the steel of the building itself. Added later were groups of floodlights which are on mast arms directed back at the building. This allows the top of the building to be lit in many colors for special occasions. This lighting was installed by electrician Charles Londner and crew during construction.

In more recent years the Chrysler Building has continued to be a favorite among New Yorkers. In the summer of 2005, New York's own Skyscraper Museum asked one hundred architects, builders, critics, engineers, historians, and scholars, among others, to choose their 10 favorites among 25 New York towers. The Chrysler Building came in first place as 90% of them placed the building in their top 10 favorite buildings. [3]

The Chrysler Building´s distinctive profile has inspired similar skyscrapers worldwide, including One Liberty Place in Philadelphia.

[edit] The Chrysler Building in popular culture

  • In a Saturday Night Live sketch, the Coneheads used the Chrysler Building as a spacecraft in order to return to their home planet of Remulak.
  • In the movie Armageddon, a chunk of the asteroid hits the Chrysler Building, severing its upper quarter and causing it to crash down on the streets.
  • Larry Cohen's low budget classic movie Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) has the titular dragon-beast nesting just below the spire of the Chrysler Building, from where it launches its campaign of terror on New York City, staying invisible to the citizens by "flying against the sun".
  • In the animated series Spider-Man, one of the main villains, Kingpin, runs his crime syndicate from the Chrysler Building. The upper floors had launch and landing facilities for VTOL-capable aircraft.
  • In the music video for "This is a Song for the Lonely" by Cher, the Chrysler Building is shown, being built, though mainly just the upper quarter.
  • In the movie Godzilla two Apache helicopters accidentally blow off about half of the building during a hectic chase through Midtown.
  • In the video game Parasite Eve, the building is a site of a thorough hostile creature infestation. The player must climb all 77 floors and encounter enemies on each floor. The secret "true" boss is on the 77th floor.
  • Artist Matthew Barney narrates the construction of the Chrysler Building (which is itself a character) in the art film Cremaster 3.
  • In Annie, during the "Hard-Knock Life" number, Molly says, imitating Miss Hannigan, "You'll stay up till this dump shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!"
  • The Chrysler Building was also featured in the movie Deep Impact, where the wall of water surrounds the skyscraper. You can also see people on the 62nd floor observation deck fleeing to the other side of the building to "escape" the wall of water.
  • In the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin creates a machine that can transform people into whatever they wish, an example being "a slug the size of the Chrysler Building".
  • In the comic book Zot, the head of Arthur "Dekko" Dekker replicates the top of the Chrysler Building.
  • In various episodes of the Futurama animated series, the Chrysler Building is seen damaged and lying on the ground in the sewer system where there are ruins of old New York.
  • In season one of the BRAVO television show Project Runway, designer Jay McCarrol created an evening gown inspired by the Chrysler Building for the Banana Republic challenge.
  • In the song "Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago" on the Soul Coughing album Ruby Vroom, a recurring line is "A man drives a plane into the Chrysler Building."
  • In the Kurt Vonnegut novel Jailbird, the uppermost room under the spire of the Chrysler Building is the showroom of the American Harp Company.
  • In Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman terrifies a hoodlum into giving up information by hanging him upside-down and unconscious from the 62nd floor Eagles (in the DC Universe the building or an analog to it is in Gotham City) until the hoodlum awakens and sees where he is. A similar scene has been shown in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated cartoon. [4]
  • In the first Doc Savage novel, The Man of Bronze, a would-be assassin attempts to shoot Doc Savage in his 86th floor headquarters from another skyscraper. In his book Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip Jose Farmer deduces that if Doc lives in the Empire State Building, then the assassin's perch must have been in the Chrysler Building, and it is depicted as such in the George Pal/Ron Ely movie Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze.
  • In the Sega video game NiGHTS Into Dreams, the Twin Seeds Tower looks very similar to the Chrysler Building.
  • In the movie The Aviator, the Pan Am offices of Juan Trippe are located in the top floors of the Chrysler Building.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Quotations

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
"Art Deco in France found its American equivalent in the design of the New York skyscrapers of the 1920s. The Chrysler Building...was one of the most accomplished essays in the style."
John Julius Norwich, in The World Atlas of Architecture


"The design, originally drawn up for building contractor William H. Reynolds, was finally sold to Walter P. Chrysler, who wanted a provocative building which would not merely scrape the sky but positively pierce it. Its 77 floors briefly making it the highest building in the world—at least until the Empire State Building was completed—it became the star of the New York skyline, thanks above all to its crowning peak. In a deliberate strategy of myth generation, Van Alen planned a dramatic moment of revelation: the entire seven-storey pinnacle, complete with special-steel facing, was first assembled inside the building, and then hoisted into position through the roof opening and anchored on top in just one and a half hours. All of a sudden it was there—a sensational fait accompli."
Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser, in Architecture in the Twentieth Century


"One of the first uses of stainless steel over a large exposed building surface. The decorative treatment of the masonry walls below changes with every set-back and includes story-high basket-weave designs, radiator-cap gargoyles, and a band of abstract automobiles. The lobby is a modernistic composition of African marble and chrome steel."
Elliot Willensky and Norval White, in AIA Guide to New York

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Preceded by:
40 Wall Street
Tallest Building in New York City
1930—1931
Succeeded by:
Empire State Building


<tr><th colspan="2">
Supertall skyscrapers (at least 300 meters in height)
</th></tr> <tr><th>Current:</th><td>Aon Center (Chicago), AT&T Corporate Center, Baiyoke Tower II, Bank of America Plaza, Bank of China Tower, Burj al-Arab, Central Plaza, Chrysler Building, CITIC Plaza, Emirates Office Tower, Emirates Towers Hotel, Empire State Building, Eureka Tower, First Canadian Place, International Finance Centre, JPMorgan Chase Tower, Jin Mao Building, John Hancock Center, Kingdom Centre, Menara Telekom, Petronas Twin Towers, Q1, Sears Tower, Shimao International Plaza, Shun Hing Square, Taipei 101, The Center, Tuntex Sky Tower, Two Prudential Plaza, U.S. Bank Tower, Shanghai Shimao International Plaza, Nina Tower I, One Shell Plaza</td></tr> <tr><th>Under construction:</th><td>23 Marina, Abraj Al Bait Towers, Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower, Airlangga Residences, Al Durrah Tower II, Al Hamra Tower, Al Rajhi Tower, Al Yaquob Tower, Almas Tower, Bank of America Tower, Burj Dubai, Burj Dubai Lake Hotel & Serviced Apartments, Busan Lotte Tower, City Hall and City Duma, Federation Tower, Freedom Tower (World Trade Center Tower 1), The Index, Infinity Tower, Guangzhou Twin Towers West Tower, Dubai Towers Doha, Sky Tower Dubai, Elite Residence, JW Marriott International Finance Centre, Ocean One, Palacio de la Bahia, Square Capital Tower, International Commerce Centre, Jakarta Tower, Mercury City Tower, New York Times Building, Northeast Asia Trade Tower, Ocean Heights 1, Ocean Heights 2, Marina 101, One Island East, Parcel 12, Princess Tower, Rose Rotana Suites, Shanghai World Financial Center, The Torch, Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago), Trump International Hotel and Tower (Toronto), Waterview Tower, Tianjin International Trade Centre, Mag 218 Tower, Torre Gran Costanera, China World Trade Center Tower 3, Pearl River Tower, Shenzhen Nikko Tower, Wenzhou World Trade Center, Gate of Kuwait, Doha Sport City Tower, Faros del Panamá</td></tr> <tr><th>Former:</th><td>World Trade Center</td></tr> <tr><th>Construction suspended:</th><td>Ryugyong Hotel, Dalian International Trade Center, Xiamen Post & Telecommunications Building, Najd Tower, 868 Towers Offices and Hotel, Tianlong Hotel, BDNI Center 1, Marina Gardens, Skycity, Plaza Rakyat</td></tr> bg:Крайслер Билдинг

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Chrysler Building

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