Chrysler Building

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Chrysler Building

Chrysler Building, in midtown Manhattan, New York City, at Lexington Ave. between 42d and 43d St. The ultimate art deco-style skyscraper, it was commissioned by Walter P. Chrysler, designed by William Van Alen, and built in 1926–30. For about a year, until the completion (1931) of the Empire State Building, the Chrysler was the world's tallest building. Comprised of 77 stories and 1,048 ft (319 m) tall, this steel-framed office building is a stepped tower with two primary setbacks. It is topped by a series of gleaming, gradually diminishing arches clad in stainless chromium-nickel steel, pierced by narrow triangular windows and surmounted by a slim 185-ft (56-m) stainless spire. The building also features ornaments of the same steel, including enormous stylized eagle heads, pineapples, and automobile-related designs. Its lobby is an art deco extravaganza of marble, chrome, and fresco.

See studies by N. Shivers (1996) and D. Stravitz (2002); N. Messier, The Art Deco Skyscraper in New York (1983).

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