Friday, November 13, 2009

While We're on the Subject of New York. . .

I know the Empire State Building is taller.
I know the observation deck of the Empire State Building
was romanticized in An Affair to Remember
and Sleepless in Seattle,
but in my book
it doesn't hold a candle to the Chrysler Building.

It was designed by architect William Van Alen for a project
financed by Walter Chrysler, chairman of the Chrysler Corporation.
Ground was broken in 1928, not long before the crash of Wall Street.

At the time, there was intense competition to build
the world's tallest skyscraper
and with a few tricks up their sleeves,
Van Alen and Chrysler managed to do just that
but only for a brief interlude.

It was the first habitable structure standing taller than 1000 feet.
But less than a year after it was opened in 1931,
its height was surpassed by the Empire State Building.
The Chrysler Building still can boast about being
the tallest steel-supported brick building in the world.

The building is a National Historic Landmark
and is considered a masterpiece of Art Deco architecture.
The Chrysler Building is renowned for its graceful crown
consisting of seven radiating terraced arches
clad in stainless steel riveted in a radiating sunburst pattern
with many triangular vaulted windows.

Close inspection shows another decorative feature of the building
that I didn't know before my tour of New York on a Gray Line
double-decker tour bus.

The ornamentation on the building is based on details
that were used in Chrysler automobiles of the time
like hood ornaments and radiator caps.
Nice detail, I think.

What's your favorite landmark building?


rebecca said...

home...because gratefully i am now,
h o m e, recovering in a warm bed.

thank you for your well wishes..
sighs of relief,

enchantedartist said...

I love these photos! I hope to see it up close and personal one day. :-) And I have to echo Rebecca...because home is my landmark today too.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

abby jenkins said...

I love the Flatiron building in New York, so unusual... but not as much as I love Home Sweet Home!

Michelle Johnson said...

i absolutely love that first picture. i am anxious to go see NY someday as i have some friends living their. hope all is well. have a great weekend.