Paen to conscientious and civilized Civil Engineering
This photo, via kosmograd, is a view of the Chrysler Building on East 42nd Street, between Grand Central Station and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. The date attached to the photo is 2010. To the best of my knowledge, it looks the same today.
The Chrysler Building is an historical landmark, as publicly perceived and as formally designated by the U.S. National Register of Historic Buildings. It is 77 stories tall, with 8 banks of 4 elevators each. Unlike other skyscraper projects of the time, there were no fatalities during the two year construction of the building, from 1928 to 1930. The interior and exterior were designed in a beautiful and authentic art deco style. The Chrysler Building briefly held the record as the world’s tallest building, prior to the Empire State Building’s completion in 1932.
The land underneath the building is owned by Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, an engineering school in lower Manhattan. Title to the land was donated to the school in 1902, with the express intent that revenues generated would fund full scholarships for all students of Cooper Union, located 35 blocks south, in Greenwich Village. When the owner of Chrysler Motors decided to build on the land in the 1920’s, he and all others who have subsequently “owned” the building have actually had 100 to 150 year lease agreements with Cooper Union.
Detail of the original Chrysler Building automotive eagle-styled gargoyles, and in situ to this day. CC/2.0/nc-sa/ by BobcatNorth, on Flickr
By 1998, the Chrysler Building needed some work. Renovations were arranged and overseen by Tishman-Speyer, a New York property management company. Improvements included the Edward Turnbull mural on the lobby ceiling, entitled Energy, Result, Workmanship and Transportation, which underwent a museum-quality restoration. Measuring approximately 100 feet by 76 feet, it is one of the largest canvas murals in the world. All restoration work was completed in 2001.
The Chrysler Building still serves its original purpose, as a rental space office building. It still holds the record as the world’s tallest brick building, although the frame is steel. The brick exterior is not load bearing.
Cooper Union’s name remains on the deed for the Chrysler Building. Associated revenues continue to finance 100% of the tuition for every Cooper Union engineering student.