The Manhattan of the Twenties was the mirror of a very modern, rich, bright and flashy world, which wished to hide great social, political and economic imbalances, skeletons in the closet basically that jumped violently out of these closets with the crisis of the '29.
The monuments symbol of this illusion of grandeur are the skyscrapers that in this period were built one after the other and the art deco buildings that still today continue to characterize New York and its unique skyline.
The Chrysler Building is an example of Art Deco building with its richness of details, an opulence that marries the modernity of the (then) new materials which were used to build it.
The skyscraper recently made the news because it was for sale.
This Manhattan skyscraper from the roaring ‘20s is among the most famous and most recognizable buildings in the world. It also appeared in cinema masterpieces and it was built between 1928 and 1930. It is an historic building that has had several owners over the decades, ending up among the possessions of the New York-based builder, Mister Speyer and recently it was owned by a United Arab Emirates sovereign wealth fund.
The skyscraper has 77 floors in total, distributed over a height of 320 meters.
It was created as a mammoth monument to the Chrysler empire, strongly desired by its founder, certain that his company would last for centuries. A challenge to the sky of New York that still today attracts masses of tourists, third after the Rockfeller Center and the Empire State Building.
Unlike many other buildings in New York, the Chrysler Building does not have a rooftop terrace, but it still deserves a visit for its lobby considered one of the largest and most beautiful in New York with its gorgeous wooden elevators. This skyscraper becomes even more spectacular at sunset because it reflects the orange light of the sun going down.
It is pure Art Deco style, built with stainless steel spires, three arches and triangular windows and its façade boasts a two-color effect that reminds the wheels of a car, complete with mudguards. A real immortal jewel, cared for down to the last detail because even its corners are decorated with artistic reproductions of radiator caps similar to those in Chrysler cars.
Just in March this year, the Austrian company Signa Holding bought it for about 150 million dollars it seems from the Abu Dhabi investment fund. It was a discounted price of 80%, since the Abu Dhabi Investment Council had apparently paid $800 million for the building.
It is worth mentioning that I found out that it had the honor of being the tallest building in the world until the mid-‘30s, when the Empire State Building was completed. It is currently the eighth highest in the city so that shows how times change. It was the home of the Chrysler car company until the mid ‘50s.
It is a record building with a large number of stories, starting from its steel spire. This was in fact built at the last moment, almost exclusively to win the height competition with the Bank of Manhattan, and it is said that its installation was completed in less than two hours.
It is said that the Empire State Building (with its 380 meters of height) stole the scene from the Chrysler Building which was originally destined to be the skyscraper chosen by King Kong for the famous scene in the film.