Thursday, November 04, 2010
Historic Manhattan: the Chrysler Building, New York
Standing at 1,047 ft, it was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931.
The Chrysler Building is a classic example of Art Deco architecture and considered by many contemporary architects to be one of the finest buildings in New York City.
It was the headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation from 1930 until the mid 1950's, but although the building was built and designed specifically for the car manufacturer, the corporation didn't 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.
The Chrysler Building is well renowned and recognized for its terraced crown. Composed of seven radiating terraced arches, Van Alen's design of the crown is a cruciform groin vault constructed into seven concentric members with transitioning setbacks, 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.
The gargoyles at the corners of the building are the Chrysler logo eagles.