Chrysler Building - The Art Deco Skyscraper

Chrysler BuildingThe First Art Deco Skyscraper

The Chrysler Building was the first truly Art Deco skyscraper in New York, finished in 1928-30 it was the tallest building in the world (1,046 feet) for only a very short period before being overtaken by the Empire State Building.

Chrysler Building Inspired by Machine Age

Built by William Van Allen, it was a homage to the American passion for the automobile, and was an exuberant and extravagant expression of the machine age.  Its flamboyant stepped tower was covered in sparkling triangular glass and steel, with sunburst layers and stainless steel pinnacles. 

Decorated with Eagle gargoyles like car mascots soaring at incredible heights, and finished with motifs from the automobile world such as hubcaps, radiators and mudguards, it was a symbol of economic prosperity, commercialism and power.

Technological Advances in Interiors

The interiors were the latest in technology: central heating, elevators, and lighting which allowed the artists to create entirely new forms and structures. 

The entrance lobby was an Art Deco extravaganza of red Moroccan marble walls, exotic woods, nickel, chrome and steel, trimmed with amber onyx and blue marble.  All this was reached via a dramatic three storey portal of black marble.

Chrysler LobbyThe Lobby

Art Deco Elegance and Artistic Inspiration

Although a personal symbol of power for Walter P. Chrysler and his corporation, his skyscraper became the epitome of Art Deco style and elegance and a major landmark of the New York skyline.

Photographers, artists and movie makers have been inspired by Manhattan skyscrapers ever since.  The skyscraper aesthetic and futuristic symbols have also played a part in movies such as 42 Street and Metropolis  and countless works of science fiction.

I love all of the images on this page, which you can buy from Art.com either framed or unframed.  But I especially like this print of New York in the snow with the twinkling lights of the Chrysler Building in the background.  So romantic! 

Click here to check out the complete range of posters and prints of this iconic building

Have a look at the fantastic iconic images of the Empire State Building on this page too. 

> > Chrysler Building


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