Beloved art deco took hold in the 1930s as architects turned away from history, creating unique buildings, configured with setbacks and...
Grand Central Partnership
The Grand Central Partnership leads free, 90-minute tours of both the Grand Central Terminal and the surrounding neighborhood on Fridays...
Grand Central Terminal
Completed in 1913, Grand Central Terminal – more commonly, if technically incorrectly, called Grand Central Station – is another of New...
Party like it’s 1928! This sublime, deliciously buttoned-up gem in Grand Central was once the office of a ’20s railroad magnate fond of...
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant
This buzzing bar and restaurant within Grand Central is hugely atmospheric, with a vaulted tiled ceiling by Catalan-born engineer Rafael...
405 Lexington Ave · interesting places nearby
Chrysler Building information
Designed by Willian Van Alen in 1930, the 77-floor Chrysler Building is prime-time architecture: a fusion of Moderne and Gothic aesthetics, adorned with steel eagles and topped by a spire that screams Bride of Frankenstein. The building was constructed as the headquarters for Walter P Chrysler and his automobile empire. Unable to compete on the production line with bigger rivals Ford and General Motors, Chrysler trumped them on the skyline and with one of Gotham's most beautiful lobbies.
Indeed, while the Chrysler Building mightn't offer a restaurant or observation deck, its lobby makes for a lavish consolation prize. Here, dark, exotic African wood and marble contrast against the brash, man-made steel of industrial America. The lobby's elaborately veneered elevators are especially beautiful, their Egyptian lotus motifs made of inlaid Japanese ash, Oriental walnut and Cuban plum-pudding wood. Above is painter Edward Trumbull's ceiling mural Transport and Human Endeavor . Purportedly the world’s largest mural at 97ft by 100ft, its depiction of buildings, airplanes and industrious workers on Chrysler assembly lines shows the golden promise of industry and modernity.
More than 80 years on, Chrysler's ambitious $15 million statement remains one of New York's most poignant symbols. For a great view of the Chrysler Building, head to the corner of Third Ave and 44th St, from where you can appreciate the building's slimline profile, gargoyles and spire in one hit. If you have binoculars, bring them for a close-up view of the facade's detailing, which includes basket-weave motifs and a band of abstract automobiles. Alternatively, head to the top of the Chrysler Building's taller rival, the Empire State Building, where pay-per-view telescopes will get you up close and personal with that gleaming steel spire.