Wednesday, September 25, 2013

30x30: Chrysler Building Lobby

It's one of the most famous New York icons, yet I had never gone inside the Chrysler Building. Yes, I had admired it's Art Deco spire from afar, allowing images of dusty Depression-era builders working day and night to erect its' 77 floors to flood my head. But other than cursory glances at times when I wasn't looking down at my phone, the Chrysler Building had been nothing more than a passing thought.

Chrysler Building lobby

Until I made my 30x30 list. What better time to take in all that the building has to offer? And, come to think of it, how had I not taken a tour of the building in the five years I'd been living in this city?

Art Deco mailbox

Because it's not allowed. More specifically, tourists are not allowed beyond the building's lobby. Unlike the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center, there is no observation deck near the top of the Chrysler Building. Private offices occupy the entire building, and you must work there to use the elevators.


Ok, fine. So I'll just look at the lobby. At least that's open to the public!

And so I did. Taking advantage of a break in between nearby meetings, I walked over to 42nd and Lex, passed through the golden revolving door and into the rust-colored lobby. There were some info signs on the walls detailing the history and technical specification of the building, and it was populated by foreign tourists taking photographs, but beyond that, my entire "tour" took less than 10 minutes and was fairly anti-climactic.

Ceiling mural by Edward Trumball

Oh well. You win some, you lose some. Granted, I'm glad that the lobby is open and accessible to the public, free of charge. The city's museum admission prices are ever-increasing, so it was refreshing to not be nickel-and-dimed to death. And it's never a bad thing to let a little Art Deco into your life ;)

Retro meets modern as the Chrysler Building is reflected in a next door skyscraper
If you go: The entrance to the Chrysler building is located at 405 Lexington Ave (and 42nd Street); the lobby is open to visitors during normal business hours.

All photos were taken by me with my trusty iPhone 4s and edited with PhotoToaster, Snapseed, and/or A Beautiful Mess. 30x30 is my name for a silly little bucket list project that I intend to complete by my 30th birthday at the end of March, 2014.

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