Around the early nineteenth century, tall buildings were beginning to pop up in the city’s skyline. It was during this time that towers such as the Chrysler building and the Empire State building were made. Although they were developed around the same time, they have very distinct features that set them apart.
Both buildings represent the power and prestige of the automobile industry responsible for their construction. They were also built in the Art Deco style and contain steel framework. The Chrysler Building was built about a year before the Empire State Building, reaching a height of 1,046 feet (including its tip). The Chrysler Building contains a great level of ornamentation on its facade. The materials used on the façade are black granite, white marble and brick at the upper levels. A unique feature of the Chrysler Building are the hubcaps and car hood ornaments, signature features of the Chrysler car company’s car, at the corners of the building. Not only that but eagles and gargoyles mark the building’s setbacks. Its crown and spire are made of stainless steel. It was in competition with the Manhattan Trust Building for tallest building and it earned the title but its victory was short lived.
After eleven months of completion a new building, the Empire State Building, took the title of tallest building, reaching a height of 1,454 feet. The Empire State Building’s façade is covered in limestone and granite with touches of aluminum. These three materials are prominent features of the Art Deco style. The buildings most notable Art Deco elements can be located within its lobby. Due to the lack of ornamentation, the building isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as the Chrysler Building. The reason for this was because its construction was more focused on the structure of the building. Similar to the Chrysler, the Empire State building also has setbacks. Except it contains one major setback and then several smaller setbacks.