Chrysler Building

A stunning Art Deco pinnacle, the Chrysler was the world's tallest building when it opened in 1930.

TravelCurious Tip

For a truly spectacular view, take a helicopter tour at dusk and ride past it

The Chrysler Building is one of New York’s most recognisable skyscrapers. A stunning example of Art Deco design, it stands at 319m and was part of a famous race in New York to be the world’s tallest building, along with 40 Wall St and the Empire State Building. The pace of construction was intense: the Chrysler building shot up at an average rate of four floors per week. And it did manage to become the world’s tallest building — although it only held the title for 11 months.

The building itself is a shrine to the automobile and the machine age. Gargoyles in the form of radiator caps, car fenders and hood ornaments serve as decorations. Stainless steel eagles, the American symbol, perch on the corners of the 61st floor, watching over the city. Inside, the lobby is filled with a rich, warm half-light that deepens the colours of its marble, onyx and amber stone, channeling 1930s New York. It holds a ceiling fresco that depicts the wonders of technology, industry and mankind’s endeavour. That endeavour can be seen in the building’s terraced crown, which consists of seven increasingly small terraced arches, each with a sunburst pattern of triangular vaulted windows, culminating in the soaring antenna which made it the first building in the world to break 1000ft.

A family affair

Although the building was the headquarters of the Chrysler corporation until the mid-1950s, Walter P. Chrysler actually paid for it himself, so that his children could inherit it. It is now owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Race to the top

In a deliberate bit of myth building, the steel spire was assembled inside the building and then hoisted into position through the roof opening and fixed on top in just ninety minutes. All of a sudden it was there, and the Chrysler building was the tallest in the world — a great example of New York’s penchant for showmanship. 40 Wall Street even held a celebration for being the tallest building in the world, without realising what had happened.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in New York
New York City Public Library
This magnificent building holds a collection of over 50 million volumes.
Bryant Park
A green oasis amongst skyscrapers and the hubbub of city life, popular with city workers taking a break.
Grand Central Station
One of the USA's most famous landmarks, this historic transport hub made New York what it is today.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
This imposing Neo-Gothic construction has been the beacon of Catholicism in New York since 1878.
Fifth Avenue
The world's most prestigious (and expensive) shopping street.
Summit One Vanderbilt
The Summit One Vanderbilt in the city of New York offers emblematic views of its main attractions, such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Times Square. The observation deck is 305 meters above the ground, and also provides an audiovisual experience for the visitors.

Related Tours

Welcome to New York City: Private Half-Day Highlights Walking Tour
Welcome to New York City, The Big Apple, The City that never sleeps! This fabulous private tour of the highlights of NYC in midtown Manhattan will ensure you see all the very best this vibrant city has to offer, from the famous department store Saks with its dazzling window displays on 5th Avenue, to the bright lights of Broadway and Times Square, and everything in between. Your expert private guide will ensure you see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and skyscrapers such as the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, as well as more historic places like St Patrick’s Cathedral. 

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Begin your tour on the iconic Lexington Avenue - known locally as ‘Lex’ and walk to your first stop the Chrysler building;
  • Hear all about the history and formation, architecture and culture of New York City and the borough of Midtown Manhattan;
  • Walk through the romantic Grand Central Terminal and stop outside the magnificent Empire State Building;
  • Pass by the lions by New York Public Library and tranquil Bryant Park;
  • Enjoy the vibrant ambience and glittering lights of Times Square and explore Broadway: the world-famous musical theatre district;
  • Walk up the iconic Fifth Avenue and pass by Saks one of the world’s most spectacular department stores;
  • Admire the impressive Neo-Gothic St Patrick’s Cathedral (from the outside) - the city’s beacon of Catholicism since 1878 - a historic contrast to the modernity of NYC; 
  • Stop by Radio City Music Hall, still the country's leading venue for popular concerts and media events;
  • Wander into Rockefeller Plaza and admire some of NYC’s best architectural and art deco masterpieces including the Rockefeller Centre known as ‘The Rock’ and Lawrie’s statue of Atlas;
  • End your tour at the Rockefeller Center where you can continue to explore this iconic neighbourhood at your own pace.

Your tour begins on Lexington Avenue - known to locals as simply Lex - and you’ll walk towards some of the most iconic architectural masterpieces of New York City. Your first stop is the Chrysler Building, considered by many to be New York’s finest art deco skyscraper. It was the tallest building in the world for just one year from 1930-31. Its antenna spire reaches 319 m.

Next, you’ll walk through NYC’s transport hub - Grand Central Terminal - made famous in countless romantic movies, and emerge in front of the Empire State Building - which remains the top attraction in the USA today. From starring in movies like King Kong to its incredible design, the Empire State remains one of the city’s most beloved features. It is the 4th tallest skyscraper in NYC, the 6th tallest in the whole USA and the 43rd tallest in the world! 

Not far away, you’ll meet the giant stone lions outside New York’s beautiful public library. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, you’ll be able to enjoy a moment of tranquillity as you walk through Bryant Park, a green oasis in the heart of Midtown, before entering the one and only Times Square. With its flashy billboards, you’ll see the news ticker on the One Times Square Building, the NASDAQ board, and a myriad of other flashing neon signs that have made this place so recognisable the world over. 

Soaking up the bright lights, learn about the evolution of Broadway and how theatre transformed Times Square into one of the most famous destinations in the world. Hear many stories of famous shows and actors that have made their home on Broadway. 

As your tour continues, you will see the impressive St Patrick's Cathedral a neo-gothic church built in 1878 and the seat of the Archdiocese of New York. Heading north toward Central Park, you will have the chance to experience the shopping mecca that is Fifth Avenue, abounding in old-world style and glamour.

You’ll see many of the historic buildings in the area dating back to 1900, as you head towards the recently restored art deco masterpiece— Radio City Music Hall. 

And lastly, a short walk will lead you to the Rockefeller Center on Rockefeller Plaza, a magnificent complex of towering skyscrapers, where your guide will show you one of the great remaining art deco structures. Your guide will happily give you plenty of suggestions for how to spend the rest of your day to delve into Midtown or direct you to the nearest metro, so you can explore other parts of Manhattan. 

Midtown Manhattan & Empire State Observatory: Private Walking Tour
South of Central Park lies one of the world's most important cultural and business centres. With many of the city’s most famous sights, Midtown Manhattan is one of the best places to experience the spirit of New York. Soak up its unique ambience, breathe in its frenetic pace, and seek out its unforgettable highlights. 

On your private tour, you will: 

  • Meet your private guide beside the greenest heart of New York City, Central Park;
  • Stroll glamorous, affluent Fifth Avenue to gaze at the world-famous window displays such as Saks Fifth Avenue;
  • Marvel at Neo-Gothic St Patrick’s Cathedral - the city’s beacon of Catholicism since 1878;
  • Admire some of Manhattan’s most beautiful Art Deco structures, like the Rockefeller building, and Lawrie’s statue of Atlas;
  • Step into the bright neon lights of Times Square, NYC’s most famous intersection, a monumentally busy mecca for tourists, shoppers and protesters;
  • Learn about the city’s rich architectural history, seeing the classics including the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal; 
  • Finish your experience with jaw-dropping views from the Empire State Building observation deck, arguably one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. 
Conjure up images of New York City, and it will be Manhattan: the ritzy, glitzy heart of the Big Apple jam-packed with big-name attractions. If there is a per-place limit on iconic landmarks, Manhattan flouts the rules - squeezing Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Met and MoMA, Times Square’s 3,685-square-foot flashing LED screens and Broadway’s bright lights into 22.7 small square miles. 

Well known by actors and stage junkies, New York’s dazzling Theatre District has been part of Manhattan since the late 19th century and its rich history provides a glorious mix of greasepaint, star-spotting and backstage gossip. While in the bustle of Times Square, learn how it earned its name when the New York Times opened an office there and erected an electronic news ticker - “The Zipper'' - in 1928. 

Though the newspaper office has relocated, the area remains a media hotspot, serving as host and home to the likes of MTV and Condé Nast. Times Square is an icon, a Hollywood backdrop, and the heart of the Big Apple, and where there is proof - should you need it - that New York is the city that never sleeps. 

After a long stroll past New York’s Public Library, depart from your guide in front of the Empire State Building, where you will enjoy tickets to the top of the Observation Deck on the 86th floor to retrace your steps and gaze out upon the city that never sleeps. 

Please note: your tour guide will finish the tour at the base of the Empire State Building, and will guide you to the correct line with your tickets for the observation deck, where you are free to explore the views at your leisure. 
Grand Central Terminal: Private Tour with SUMMIT ONE Vanderbilt
Enjoy a privately guided tour of New York’s famous Grand Central Terminal - not only a busy train terminal, but one of New York’s top attractions that welcomes over 20 million visitors every year for its iconic architecture, history, vibrant food and shopping scene, and its many hidden gems - all of which you’ll discover on this fascinating tour!  

On your private Grand Central tour you will: 

  • Enjoy wonderful views of the Chrysler Building and the MetLife Building - the original PanAm building, located competitively next to the train station, to symbolise the dominance of aviation over railway transport; 
  • Learn about the life of the 19th-century self-made millionaire, shipping magnate, and railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt;  
  • Explore this vast and fascinating Beaux-Arts building, designated of important historic note; 
  • Discover the main concourse, and learn how Grand Central Terminal survived the proposed demolition; 
  • Learn all about the restoration, the Preservation Landmark Commission, and the role played by Jackie Kennedy Onassis in saving it;
  • Admire the famous four-faced clock, a trusty meeting place for all true New Yorkers;
  • See the largest Tiffany Glass clock in the world; 
  • Explore the events spaces like the Vanderbilt Hall with its twinkling chandeliers, as well as the myriad of secret passageways and winding staircases to lower levels; 
  • Pass by the Oyster Bar - the oldest restaurant in the GCT;
  • Visit the amazing Whispering Gallery - designed by Rafael Guastavino - and experience the magic;
  • Hear about Track 61 - the secret rail line used by President Franklin Roosevelt to get to the nearby Waldorf-Astoria hotel - and so many other hidden gems and stories;
  •  End at the entrance to SUMMIT ONE VANDERBILT where your guide will give you tickets to this unmissable, unique attraction - a multi-sensory experience and a mindblowing observation deck with unbeatable views over the Manhattan skyline. 

Grand Central is an iconic New York landmark that was opened to the public in 1913. Situated in Midtown Manhattan, this transport hub is visited by over 20 million people per year - only Times Square beats this! 

Grand Central has been made famous by movies and TV; it is best known for its Beaux-Arts architecture and because of this it has been designated an important historic building. 

On your private tour, you’ll have plenty of time to admire the stunning ceiling murals and statues, absorb the thrumming atmosphere, pass by delightful boutiques and delicious restaurants, discover hidden passages and secret rooms, enjoy its general opulence and of course stand under the four-faced clock on the main concourse that is possibly the most famous meeting place in the whole of New York City (all New Yorkers know what you mean when you say ‘meet me at the clock!).  

Your tour ends at the entrance to Summit One Vanderbilt, where your guide will hand over your tickets to this incredible observation deck that is also a multi-sensory museum on three different levels, and with truly breathtaking views of the iconic New York Skyline. 


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