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    Chrysler Building: can you climb New York's famous skyscraper?

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    Joel Fulleda

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    Among the skyscrapers that make up the New York skyline, the Chrysler Building certainly represents one of the most recognizable ones. Its distinctive spire helped get it elected in 2005 as the most beautiful skyscraper in the Big Apple, and every day hundreds of tourists look for the best angle to photograph it.

    Designed by architect William Van Alen, it was inaugurated in 1930 and with its 319 meters was thetallest building in the world. This record, however, did not last long because the construction of the Empire State Building, completed only a few months later, snatched the record from him. So let's go find out what can you visit of this iconic New York building, which are the best spots in the city to photograph it, the most convenient way to get to the area and which are the most beautiful attractions nearby.


    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Can you go up to the Chrysler Building?
    • La lobby del Chrysler Building
    • Best spots to photograph it
      • Empire State Building Observatory
      • Helicopter tour
    • Attractions nearby
    • Where to sleep in the area
    • Chrysler Building architecture and building history

    Where is it and how to get there

    The Chrysler Building entrance is located at 405 Lexington Ave, between 42nd and 43rd streets. The closest metro station is the busy one Grand Central – 42 St, served by the green lines 4,5 and 6, by the violet line 7 and by the S.

    Can you go up to the Chrysler Building?

    Here's everything you need to know about New York's Chrysler Building

    Until 1945 the answer to this question would have been yes, but today the building is used only by those who work in the offices inside it. Therefore there are unfortunately panoramic terraces from which to admire the New York skyline and therefore not even entrance tickets and gift shops. The only part of the Chrysler tower that is accessible to the public is the lobby at the entrance which, as we shall see, is certainly worth a visit anyway.

    By following our advice you will still have the opportunity to know the best places from which to photograph this architectural masterpiece.

    La lobby del Chrysler Building

    Not only is it the only part of the building that tourists can enter for free, but also a real one architectural gem, which is definitely worth a visit (also because it won't take you long). Made in Art Deco, its ceilings are covered in red marble like the walls.

    But the thing that will leave you speechless is the work of Edward Turnbull which, in a huge mural, among other things, represented airplanes, machines of his time, as well as the skyscraper itself, with the workers who were engaged in its construction. From the lobby you will also be able to see some of the eight elevators that were specially made for the Chrysler Building, very elegant, like the rest of the structure.

    Best spots to photograph it

    Being one of the tallest skyscrapers in New York, the whole area surrounding the Chrysler Building can be a good spot to take your souvenir photos. In particular, it is recommended to go to the intersection between Vanderbilt Ave and 42nd street which, as you can see from the photo we have placed above, will allow you to immortalize the Chrysler Building nestled between the neighboring skyscrapers and the Met Life Building. Even long Lexington Avenue you will have the best views to take your photos.

    Empire State Building Observatory


    Personally, I believe this is there best solution to appreciate all the beauty of the spire of the Chrysler Building, both day and night. The two panoramic terraces of the Empire State Building will allow you to have an overall view of both Downtown Manhattan and the entire area surrounding the Chrysler skyscraper. We recommend visiting the panoramic terrace of the Empire and not the equally famous Top of the Rock in the Rockefeller Center complex, because in this case the Chrysler Building, although visible, is partially blocked by the nearby Met Life Building.

    Helicopter tour

    If you want to enjoy the Chrysler Building instead from one location much higher you just have to opt for one of the many New York helicopter tours. As you can imagine, there are many options to choose from but, through our guide, you will have the opportunity to understand the tour that is best for you. If you are still not convinced take a look at the video below.

    Attractions nearby

    To give you an idea of ​​the attractions that you will find in the immediate vicinity of the Chrysler Building, I have thought to narrow it down and include the best ones that are within 10 minutes walk maximum from the skyscraper, so that you can perhaps insert it as a passage point before your next stop.

    • Grand Central Terminal: not only houses the closest subway station to reach the Chrysler Building, but it is also one of the historic sites in New York. Its imposing atrium, featuring a huge American flag, has been immortalized in numerous films and television series.
    • United Nations building: you will be greeted by the hundreds of flags of the member countries and by the glass building that stands out over the surrounding buildings. Tours are available with guided visits within the complex. To find out more, read our article on United Nations Headquarters.
    • Bryant Park and New York Public Library: The New York Public Library can be visited for free. In this way you will have at the same time the opportunity to visit a historic building in the city and feel like a Ghostbusters for a day (this is where the Ghostbusters had their first encounter with a paranormal entity).

    Where to sleep in the area

    Here is a list of hotels from which the Chrysler Building can be seen, from the bedroom windows (race to the sky"To build the tallest skyscraper in the world was in full swing. Particularly famous in this sense was the long-distance battle between Craig Severance, who was supervising the construction of a skyscraper at 40 Wall Street, and William van Alen who, thanks to the spire built in secret inside the Chrysler Building, managed to win this unique competition.

    ">Unfortunately for van Alen a few months later it was theEmpire State Building to definitively steal from him the coveted primacy. To meet the requests of the client Walter Chrysler, many parts of the skyscraper were built in order to pay homage to the well-known automotive industry. The most obvious example of what has been said is the aforementioned spire (made of stainless steel so that it shines by reflecting the sunlight) which was adorned with a particular motif that wanted to remember the radiator grille of Chrysler cars.

    But references to the automotive industry are not limited to the highest part of the building: at the height of the 31st floor in the corners there are reproductions of radiator caps, while along the facade there is an ornamental motif that reproduces the wheels of the machines with their respective mudguards.

    Other decorative elements that have become very popular in the collective imagination are the eight figures zoomorfe, which extend from the corners of the highest part of the building to the outside. They were built as a representation of eight stylized eagle heads and were intended to be a tribute to the symbol of America and that of the Chrysler Imperial.

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