Chrysler Building * New York City * William Van Allen
The Chrysler Building (1930) surpassed the Eiffel Tower to become the world's tallest structure. Almost as important, the Chrysler Building, with its jazzy, Art Deco lines and curves, announced to the world that Midtown Manhattan had arrived. The skyscraper no longer imitated gothic architecture (more common in Downtown Manhattan), but incorporated a current architecture style appropriate for its time of design and construction. As if mocking the ancient gothic style of other skyscrapers, the Chrysler Building incorporates gargoyles and decorative top that ends in a spire reaching towards the sky. But, the careful will notice, the gargoyles are actually Chrysler hood ornaments, and the decorative top is basically a series of hubcap-like curves. The building might as well be a car, definitely an object worthy of a cathedral like building in modern day America. 

The Chrysler Building held the title of world's tallest building until 1931 when the Empire State Building (also in Midtown Manhattan) took the title. Downtown Manhattan was not able to regain the title until the completion of the World Trade Center towers in 1972 (which were dethroned by the Sears Tower in Chicago in 1976). 
If you guessed...
the Empire State Building, you can't be faulted too much except for the fact that the Chrysler Building has never had King Kong on top of it. Both, however, are Art Deco, jazz-age towers, and both are in Midtown Manhattan.
If you guessed...
the Transamerica Pyramid, you really should get out of California more often. Absolutely nothing in common with the Chrysler Building at all.




geography leisure & recreation architecture, art & design tourism & attractions facilities landscape architecture & urban planning putting it all together (the spectacular)

back to quiz page