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.
Rockefeller Center
An iconic complex of Art Deco buildings and public art, commissioned by the Rockefeller family.
Radio City Music Hall
A beloved entertainment venue that has earned the moniker of 'Showplace of the Nation.'

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Modern Manhattan
Experience the bustle of Manhattan in this extensive trip around some of  New York City’s finest sights. Journey beyond sightseeing and discover their secrets in the company of your own professional, local guide.   

  • See some of New York's best architectural masterpieces
  • Enjoy the bustle of Times Square
  • Learn about what makes Broadway so special in the theatre world
  • Walk through the art deco Rockefeller Center
  • Step inside the beautiful St Patrick's Cathedral
  • Become absorbed in New York's famous Fifth Avenue
Monuments of New York

In this intimate tour of NYC, you will discover some of midtown Manhattan’s best known and much loved attractions. You will begin at the most iconic transportation hub in the United States— Grand Central Terminal. Catch a perfect view of the gleaming spire of the Chrysler Building, another of New York's Art Deco masterpieces, explore the New York Public Library where you will meet the giant stone lions, and enjoy Bryant Park—a lovely green oasis in the heart of Midtown. You will then continue west to the crossroads of the world —Times Square— to view the news ticker on the One Times Square Building, the NASDAQ board, and the myriad neon signs.

Bright Lights and Old School Glamour

Soaking up the bright lights, you will learn about the evolution of Broadway and how theatre  transformed Times Square into one of the most famous destinations in the world. You will have the pleasure of seeing 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. A short walk will lead you to the Rockefeller Center, a magnificent complex of towering skyscrapers. 

As your tour continues, you will see the beautiful, gothic St Patrick's Cathedral, seat of the Archdiocese of New York. Heading north toward Central Park, you will have your chance to be part of the shopping mecca that is Fifth Avenue, abounding in old world glamour. Your tour will finish at the corner of Central Park, near the Zoo and Wollman Rink, where you will be able to explore this green oasis in the very heart of New York City. 


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