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Facts about The Chrysler Building for Kids


The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bay area at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. At 1,046 feet (319 m), the structure 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.
  • After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it was again the second-tallest building in New York City until December 2007, when the spire was raised on the 1,200-foot Bank of America Tower, pushing the Chrysler Building into third position.
  • Both buildings were then pushed into 4th position, when the under construction One World Trade Center surpassed their height.
  • 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.
  • The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project of Walter P. Chrysler.
  • Despite a frantic pace, no workers died during the construction of this skyscraper.
  • Van Alen’s original design for the skyscraper called for a decorative jewel-like glass crown.
  • It also featured a base in which the showroom windows were tripled in height and topped by 12 stories with glass-wrapped corners, creating an impression that the tower appeared physically and visually light as if floating in mid-air.
  • However, the design proved to be too advanced and costly for building contractor William H. Reynolds, who disapproved of Van Alen’s original plan.
  • As Walter Chrysler was the chairman of the Chrysler Corporation and intended to make the building into Chrysler’s headquarters, various architectural details and especially the building’s gargoyles were modeled after Chrysler automobile products like the hood ornaments of the Plymouth; they exemplify the machine age in the 1920s.
  • On October 23, 1929, the bottom section of the spire was hoisted onto the top of the building’s dome and lowered into the 66th floor of the building.
  • Upon completion, May 20, 1930, the added height of the spire allowed the Chrysler Building to surpass 40 Wall Street as the tallest building in the world and the Eiffel Tower as the tallest structure.
  • Less than a year after it opened to the public on May 27, 1930, the Chrysler Building was surpassed in height by the Empire State Building, but the Chrysler Building is still the world’s tallest steel-supported brick building.
  • The land on which the Chrysler Building stands was donated to The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a private college that offers every admitted student a full tuition scholarship, in 1902.
  • In 1998, Tishman Speyer Properties and the Travelers Insurance Group bought the Chrysler Building, at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, and the adjoining Kent Building in 1997 for about $220 million from a consortium of banks and the estate of Jack Kent Cooke.
  • On June 11, 2008 it was reported that the Abu Dhabi Investment Council was in negotiations to buy TMW’s 75% economic interest, and a 15% interest from Tishman Speyer Properties in the building, and a share of the Trylons retail structure next door for US$ 800 million.