Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Things you should know about the Chrysler Building

[Listen to Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue as you read the blog.]

Loved by all New Yorkers and considered by contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City - the Chrysler Building.

1. The Chrysler Building was never owned by the Chrysler Corporation.

Chrysler Building, NYC

Instead, it was owned by Walter Chrysler who leased it to the Chrysler Corporation as its headquarters from 1930 until 1950.

2. For eleven months it was the world's tallest building at 1,046 feet. Construction workers pushed the 185 foot spire through the roof in 90 minutes to create the record. In 1931, the Chrysler Building's height was surpassed by the Empire State Building at 1,250 feet.

3. The metal clad spire tops 77 brick floors on a steel frame. It is still the world's tallest brick building.

4. Despite a torrid pace of four floors a week, no workers died during its construction, unlike the Empire State Building, where five workers died.

5. The iconic eagle gargoyles were modeled after Chrysler Plymouth hood ornaments.

Eagle gargoyle Chrysler Building

6.  The Chrysler Building is located at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, which accesses Grand Central Station.

7. The building was built at a cost of 15 million dollars.

8. It was sold in 1953 and has gone through a series of ownership and management changes.

9. A private college, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, owns the land and the building. In case you wondered, the college, better known as Cooper Union, is located in Cooper Square in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City,

Top of the Chrysler Building

10.  The building's Art Deco style, unique in New York City, is one reason why the building was place on the National Historic Register in 1976. The spire which lights NYC at night is a shining beacon for all New Yorkers to see.

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