The Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. It is still the tallest brick building in the world, albeit with an internal steel skeleton.
Here are the facts you ought to know:
– the first man-made structure to stand taller than 1,000 feet (305 m)
– construction started on September 19, 1928
– opened to the public on May 27, 1930
– height of antenna spire: 1,046 ft (319 m)
– height of the roof: 925 ft (282 m)
– height of the top floor: 899 ft (274 m)
– floor count: 77
– floor area: 1,195,000 sq ft (111,000 m2)
– elevators: 32
– style: Art Deco
It was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler, founder of the automotive giant, the Chrysler Corporation.
Van Alen’s satisfaction was likely muted by Walter Chrysler’s later refusal to pay the balance of his architectural fee.
It was built at an average rate of four floors per week.
No workers died during the construction.
Over 400,000 rivets were used and approximately 3,826,000 bricks were manually laid, to create the non-load-bearing walls of the skyscraper.
The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles; on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps.
Van Alen’s “big surprise” was kept from the media and the public: he secretly built a spire inside the building. At the last minute and to everyone’s amazement, the 185-ft spire was hoisted through the roof and bolted into place. This made it the worlds tallest building at 1046 feet, 119 feet taller than the Wall Street Building.
It was the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 until the mid-1950s. Although the building was built and designed specifically for the car manufacturer, the corporation did not pay for the construction of it and never owned it, as Walter P. Chrysler decided to pay for it himself, so that his children could inherit it. Since then, the ownership of the building has changed several times.
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