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New York City Sights

Chrysler Building

  • 405 Lexington Ave. Map It
  • Midtown East
  • Building/Architectural Site

Updated 02/24/2014

Fodor's Review

A monument to modern times and the mighty automotive industry, the former Chrysler headquarters wins many a New Yorker's vote for the city's most iconic and beloved skyscraper (the world's tallest for 40 days until the Empire State Building stole the honor). Architect William Van Alen, who designed this 1930 Art Deco masterpiece, incorporated car details into its form: American eagle gargoyles made of chromium nickel sprout from the 61st floor, resembling car-hood ornaments

used on 1920s Chryslers; winged urns festooning the 31st floor reference the car's radiator caps. Most breathtaking is the pinnacle, with tiered crescents and spiked windows that radiate out like a magnificent steel sunburst. View it at sunset to catch the light gleaming off the tip. Even better, observe it at night, when its peak illuminates the sky. The inside is sadly off-limits apart from the amazing time-capsule lobby replete with chrome "grillwork," intricately patterned wood elevator doors, marble walls and floors, and an enormous ceiling mural saluting transportation and the human endeavor.

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Sight Information


405 Lexington Ave., at E. 42nd St., New York, New York, 10174, United States

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Updated 02/24/2014


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Dec 14, 2008

Splendid building

Arguably the most beautiful skyscraper in the world, never mind New York. Simply lovely, a graceful and tasteful building with an intricate stunner of a lobby. A must for architecture buffs and anyone who likes a gorgeous edifice.

By Ferrara

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Sep 9, 2002

They Don't Make Lobbies Like This Anymore

This lobby is way cool. I went on an architectural tour of midtown Manhattan and this was the highlight as far as I was concerned. They don't make lobbies like this one anymore. In a way it'smore impressive than the exterior.

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