The Chrysler Building is the shining star of Manhattan's skyline. Illuminated after dark, its radiant stainless steel spire glitters like a jeweled tiara. Exterior details – many inspired ty the design elements of Chrysler automobiles of the 1920s – resemble radiator caps, wheel hubs, and hood ornaments, as well as eagles, sunbursts, and gargoyles. Yet the crowning glory of this iconic tower is actually at street level, inside the surprisingly triangular, and most elaborate lobby in the entire city.
This Art Deco palace, on the city's 42nd Street, is the embodiment of the American rapid industrialization, emerging new technologies, and faith in social progress.
Edward Turnbull's massive mural on the lobby's ceiling (one of the world's largest paintings) is titled 'Energy, Result, Workmanship, and Transportation.'
Crane your neck, walk slowly beneath to examine its planes, trains, ocean liners, machines, and teams of workers – with faces of actual tradesmen who built the skyscraper.
The lobby's mesmerizing interior orchestrates a symphony of swirling colors, geometric shapes, smooth, shiny surfaces, and exotic materials – red African marble walls, yellow Siena marble floor, blue marble and amber onyx trim.
Peek into one of the four elevator banks. The doors of each of the thirty-two elevators are unforgettable masterpieces of inlaid wood marquetry, employing rare varieties of wood to give a spectacular Deco spin to Egyptian lotus-flower motifs.
When it opened in 1930, the Chrysler Building was the tallest structure in the world for a few months. Soon it was eclipsed by the Empire State Building. But its lofty ambitions, social message, heroism, and roll-up-your-sleeves optimism are grounded to this day in one of New York's precious treasures: its lobby.