On this day back in 1930 the Chrysler Building officially opened in New York City. It's been five years since we last took a look back at the building (then, on its 75th birthday), when the NY Times ran this neat illustration tracing the building's beginnings. The art deco building ties the New York Times building for the 3rd tallest in the city (they're both 1,047 feet), but when it first opened it enjoyed an 11th month run as the tallest, until the Empire State Building took that title. Some more fun facts:

  • The building's groundbreaking was on September 19th, 1928, and opening ceremonies were on May 28th, 1930.
  • The spire was delivered in four sections, and on October 23rd, 1929 the bottom section was hoisted onto the top of the building's dome and lowered into the 66th floor. The remaining sections were then brought up and riveted to the first one in sequential order. This took just 90 minutes!
  • The corners of the 61st floor are adorned with eagles, replicas of the 1929 Chrysler hood ornaments; and on the 31st floor, the corner ornamentation are replicas of the 1929 Chrysler radiator caps.
  • A private Cloud Club lounge and an observation area were once located at the top of the building; it occupied the 66th to 68th floors, but closed in the late 1970s. These days you'd never know it was there.
  • Ownership of the building changed hands a few times, starting when the Chrysler family sold it in 1947.
  • The building was declared a landmark in 1976.
  • The architect was Brooklynite and Pratt Institute grad Wiliam Van Alen.
  • Bonus: no one died during the construction of the building!