Re: Happy 75th birthday to the Chrysler Building!
- What a remarkable achievement for a building that's exactly three-
quarters of a century and one day old!
--- In email@example.com, olive_e_thomas
> With steel wings and gargoyle eagles, the Chrysler Building
> turns 75
> By VERENA DOBNIK
> Associated Press Writer
> May 27, 2005, 10:07 PM EDT
> NEW YORK -- The Chrysler Building's spire was secretly
> installed 75 years ago in the Manhattan night, becoming the
> world's tallest edifice and an Art Deco monument to America's
> private wealth and its jazz age.
> On Friday, the anniversary of its opening on May 27, 1930, the
> 77-story high-rise was honored publicly _ with a U.S. postage
> stamp unveiled in its lavish marble lobby.
> The building _ made of 20,961 tons of steel and 3,826,000
> bricks held together by 391,881 rivets _ is "dedicated to world
> commerce and industry," wrote its builder, auto industry mogul
> Walter Chrysler.
> The new 37-cent Chrysler Building stamp may be purchased at
> any post office, but only as part of a sheet of a dozen stamps,
> each bearing the image of a different American work of
> architecture. Stamps in the series include two other New York
> buildings _ the Guggenheim Museum and the TWA Terminal at
> Kennedy Airport.
> The Chrysler Building stamp is based on a photograph taken by
> the late Margaret Bourke-White, whose studio was in the
> landmark building.
> Tishman Speyer Properties, which co-owns the building with
> TMW Real Estate, has modernized the high-rise at Lexington
> Avenue and 42nd Street that's worth hundreds of millions of
> dollars. But the elevator cabs retain their intricate woodwork in
> ebony, Japanese ash, Cuban plum and Oriental walnut.
> The basic design by Brooklyn-born architect William Van Alen
> also remains intact _ an homage to America's first automobiles.
> The mammoth steel wings jutting out from the 31st floor and the
> eight eagle gargoyles outside the 61st floor are stylized
> renditions of 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments, while the exterior
> surface bears hubcap patterns.
> The building is inhabited up to the 71st floor, where the stainless
> steel spire rises into the sky another half dozen stories.
> The spire was born of Walter Chrysler's ambition to beat a
> skyscraper at 40 Wall Street as the world's tallest.
> On the eve of his building's opening, the five pieces of the spire
> were secretly hoisted to the 65th floor, assembled and raised
> through the dome _ creating the world's tallest building at 1,046
> The Chrysler held that distinction for only about a year, until the
> Empire State Building rose in 1931, a whopping 204 feet higher.
> While the lobby and atrium of the Chrysler are open to the public,
> the rest of the building's 1.99 million square feet have been
> off-limits since the 1940s except to its exclusive tenants, who
> include financial and legal firms, as well as a dentist.
> Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.