It took me about a year to tell the Chrysler and the Empire State buildings apart. No joke. Now I’ve realized that – apart from the fact they actually look totally different – the Empire State can be set aside from the Chrysler in one very central way: it opens its doors to the public.
While millions appreciate the Chrysler’s addition to the New York skyline every year, sadly, the building doesn’t return the love. Instead it’s an office block closed to visitors and has no observation deck like those found at the Rockefeller Center or the Empire State.
But because it’s so important to the city, I wanted to make a visit anyway. And after I headed up to 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, I learned that you can admire the inside of the building after all – as long as you stay on the ground floor.
The 1,046ft building, which was completed in 1930, is designed in the style of art deco. I love art deco. It’s far past the point of kitsch now and I love how well-maintained the flourishes are at the Chrysler.
I took my time looking at the metal work, the funky lettering and the hand-painted mural across the ceiling while also eyeing the well-guarded elevators. There was no chance of me getting up there. I’ll have to befriend a suit who works on the 77th floor.
This was definitely worth the trip. It’s a shame you can’t get to the top, but I guess it’s going to be the same view you’d get of the city from any other observation deck anyway. Instead, what’s different about this building is the inside – and how cool that art deco design is.