Chrysler Building: New York’s Achitecture Masterpiece

Chrysler Building is one of New York’s most iconic structures, ranking as the 20th tallest building in the US. It has been part of the New York skyline for over 90 years, and it continues to be a one-of-a-kind office building.

The Bare Essentials: Chrysler Building NYC

Chrysler Building: New York's Achitecture MasterpieceView in gallery

Chrysler Building New York is an Art Deco skyscraper that stands at 1,046 feet, including the spire. The top floor is 899 feet above the ground. There are 77 floors and 32 elevators. It cost $20 million to build, and it has 1,195,000 square feet of space.

Construction finished in 1930, and it was the tallest building in the world for 11 months after. It’s still the world’s tallest brick building with a steel framework.

The tower was designed by architect William Van Alen. Walter Chrysler, the owner of the Chrysler Corporation, owned the building. He funded the construction with his personal money so his family could inherit it. The Chrysler family sold the building for $18 million in 1953.

The Chrysler Building is currently used for office space, which was its original purpose. It was the headquarters for Chrysler until the family sold it.

Only the lobby is open to the public, and it has beautiful Art Deco designs and red marble walls. The ceiling of the lobby has an Edward Trumbull painting called “Transport and Human Endeavor.”

Chrysler building became a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and a New York City Landmark in 1978.

Iconic Architecture

The structure is built with a steel frame and about 50 exterior metal ornaments that resemble gargoyles. Some of the ornaments are eagles, meant to look like Chrysler hood ornaments. The Chrysler building has 3,862 exterior windows.

The most notable architecture is the top of the building, featuring the crown and spire. There are seven arches on the crown that are layered on top of each other like a wedding cake. The top floors serve little purpose besides appearance.

The large spire was concealed inside the crown during construction to hide the height of the building for as long as possible. The spire is 186 feet, and it wouldn’t have been the tallest building at the time without it.

Chrysler Building vs Empire State Building

The Empire State building was completed in 1931, only 11 months after the Chrysler Building. The two were competing to be the tallest building as construction was going on.

After the Empire State Building was completed, it became the world’s tallest building at the time, surpassing Chrysler Building. The Empire State Building is 204 feet taller at 1,250 feet. It’s now the most well-known New York building and one of the biggest tourist attractions because of its observation deck.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Tenants are in the Chrysler Building?

Creative Artists Agency, Clyde & Co, InterMedia Partners, Outfront Media, and YES Network are current tenants of the Chrysler Building. You can visit the website to learn about renting office space.

How Far is the Chrysler Building from the Empire State Building?

The Chrysler Building is 0.8 miles from the Empire State Building. So, it’s a 6-minute drive or a 15-minute walk.

Is the Chrysler Building Open to the Public?

Yes, anyone can enter the Chrysler building for free, but only the lobby is accessible since it’s an office building.

Does the Chrysler Building Have an Observation Deck?

No, there is no Chrysler Building observation deck. The building used to have a public viewing gallery on the 71st floor, but it closed in 1945. Now, only the lobby is accessible to tourists.

What’s Near the Chrysler Building?

Chrysler Building is within walking distance of Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, Bryant Park, and the AKC Museum of Dog.


The Chrysler Building was in competition with the Empire State Building for the tallest building, but today, both New York skyscrapers have been surpassed by several other buildings. Yet, they both remain memorable parts of the city’s skyline.

Chrysler Building is used for office space, but tourists can enter the lobby and admire the beautiful Art Deco design.