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Chronicles: Top of the Chrysler Building

MID021-A17At the corner of 42nd St. and Lexington Avenue sits one of the most iconic buildings in New York City, the Art Deco skyscraper The Chrysler Building. For eleven months after The Chrysler Building was completed in 1930, it was the tallest building in the world- until The Empire State Building succeeded it.
 
At the time ground was broken in Manhattan to build The Chrysler Building, competition was heating-up to see who could build the tallest skyscraper in the world. In the race for the top, Walter P. Chrysler, who personally funded the building for his children’s inheritance, had workers completing four floors per week- a frantic pace.
 
Designed by architect William Van Alen, the building was as the headquarters for the Chrysler Corporation and its distinctive ornamentation is based on features that qwere then being used on Chrysler automobiles; the corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments and on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps.
 
But what The Chrysler Building is most famous for is its terraced crown. The crown is composed of seven radiating terraced arches, mounted up one behind each other. The stainless-steel cladding is ribbed and riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern with many triangular vaulted windows, transitioning into smaller segments of the seven narrow setbacks of the facade of the terraced crown. The entire crown is clad with silvery “Enduro KA-2″ metal, an austenitic stainless steel developed in Germany by Krupp.
 
Nowadays, The Chrysler Building is no longer owned by the Chrysler family or as the headquarters for the car manufacturer. Instead it is used by a variety of companies and can be seen in tv and film, being attacked by monsters, or blown-up in scenes of the Armageddon.
 
The Chrysler Building
New York, NY 10174

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