Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Empire State Building vs. Chrysler Building

Which is your favorite?

Ask anyone which of these two they prefer and you're likely to get a even battle. Some love the significance of the Empire State Building, and others love the crown and more dramatic Art Deco design of the Chrysler Building. You might not know that two of the most iconic buildings on the New York skyline were actually in a race to be the tallest building in the world in the 1930s, and while both did fall from first place (One World Trade Center is currently the tallest), they have a unique history that best describes them as rivals. 
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350 Fifth Avenue 
New York, New York 10118

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet (443 m) high. It stood as the world's tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center's North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world), until One World Trade Center reached a greater height on April 30, 2012.

The Empire State Building is generally thought of as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. 

The construction was part of an intense competition in New York for the title of "world's tallest building". Two other projects fighting for the title, 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, were still under construction when work began on the Empire State Building. Each held the title for less than a year, as the Empire State Building surpassed them upon its completion, just 410 days after construction commenced. Instead of taking 18 months as anticipated, the construction took just under fifteen. The building was officially opened on May 1, 1931 in dramatic fashion, when United States President Herbert Hoover turned on the building's lights with the push of a button from Washington, D.C.

The Empire State Building has one of the most popular outdoor observatories in the world, having been visited by over 110 million people. The 86th-floor observation deck offers impressive 360-degree views of the city. There is a second observation deck on the 102nd floor that is open to the public. It was closed in 1999, but reopened in November 2005. It is completely enclosed and much smaller than the first one; it may be closed on high-traffic days. Tourists may pay to visit the observation deck on the 86th floor and an additional amount for the 102nd floor. 

The lines to enter the observation decks, according to Concierge.com, are "as legendary as the building itself:" there are five of them: the sidewalk line, the lobby elevator line, the ticket purchase line, the second elevator line, and the line to get off the elevator and onto the observation deck. For an extra fee tourists can skip to the front of the line. The Empire State Building makes more money from tickets sales for its observation decks than it does from renting office space.
source: wiki
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405 Lexington Avenue 
New York City, New York 10017

The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco style skyscraper in New York City, located on the east side of Manhattan in the Turtle Bayarea at the intersection of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. At 1,046 feet (319 m), the structure was the world's tallest building for 11 months before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. It is still the tallest brick building in the world, albeit with an internal steel skeleton. 

After the destruction of the World Trade Center, it was again the second-tallest building in New York City until December 2007, when the spire was raised on the 1,200-foot (365.8 m) Bank of America Tower, pushing the Chrysler Building into third position. In addition, The New York Times Building, which opened in 2007, is exactly level with the Chrysler Building in height. Both buildings were then pushed into 4th position, when the under construction One World Trade Center surpassed their height.

Van Alen's original design for the skyscraper called for a decorative jewel-like glass crown. It also featured a base in which the showroom windows were tripled in height and topped by 12 stories with glass-wrapped corners, creating an impression that the tower appeared physically and visually light as if floating in mid-air.

The Chrysler Building is considered a leading example of Art Deco architecture. The corners of the 61st floor are graced with eagles; on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps. The building is constructed of masonry, with a steel frame, and metal cladding. The building currently contains a total of 3,862 windows on its facades.

When the building first opened, it contained a public viewing gallery on the 71st floor, which was closed to the public in 1945.

The Chrysler Building has been shown in several movies that take place in New York. In the summer of 2005, New York's own Skyscraper Museum asked one hundred architects, builders, critics, engineers, historians, and scholars, among others, to choose their 10 favorites among 25 New York towers. The Chrysler Building came in first place as 90% of them placed the building in their top-10 favorite buildings.

The Chrysler Building's distinctive profile has inspired similar skyscrapers worldwide, including One Liberty Place in Philadelphia.
souce: wiki

So tell me...
Which is your favorite?
Are you shocked that the Empire State Building makes more if its revenue from the Observatory Deck?
Have you seen One Liberty Place in Philadelphia, and can you see the resemblance to the Chrysler Building?

Let me know if you have any tips to add in the comments below!

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  1. The Chrysler Building, for me. Love it!

    1. Same here :) I love how they can put a crown on a building and make it look so unique from everything else.

  2. What beautiful pictures! (I can't believe you're already on E!)

    1. Thanks Janet, and I should be on F, but I'm a day behind. Hopefully before today ends it will be up!

  3. Pretty sure I favor the Chrysler- so there's no observation deck up there? I love Art Deco- it would be fun to do an Art Deco tour of Manhattan! I haven't been to that building in Philadelphia, but now I want to!
    Have a good day, Farin! :)

    1. Not anymore, wiki said that there was for a few years but I'm guessing it's a safety concern. Seems like it might not be able to handle the crowd that would be coming through. I haven't been there either but LOVE that building as well. And that building will give Philadelphia it's first observation deck this summer :)

  4. I've never really considered before now. The Chrysler Building is prettier in my opinion!

    1. I agree, but the colors can really make the Empire State building look beautiful at times too.

  5. It's a toss up. The Empire State Building is so identifiable in the skyline. The Chrysler Building has style though. So I'd pick it. Untethered Realms / MPax

    1. I agree, the Empire State Building is part of NYC, but the Chrysler Building is my pick as well :)


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