37¢ Chrysler Building
Modern American Architecture
Issue Date: May 19, 2005
City: Las Vegas, NV
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 10.75 x 11
Often praised as the greatest art deco skyscraper, the Chrysler Building is easily recognized on Manhattan’s skyline. The Chrysler Building was built between 1926 and 1930 for William Chrysler. The auto manufacturer wanted a monument to his growing car company.
The architect, Brooklyn-born William Van Alen (1883-1954), had attended Pratt Institute and had worked for several New York firms. In 1911, Van Alen formed a partnership that became known for tall commercial structures.
Shining steel automobile icons decorate the building exterior. Chrysler had tested the alloy – a mixture of chrome, nickel and steel – to be sure that exposure would not tarnish its silver glow. Large metal hubcaps, giant winged radiator caps, and huge hood ornaments also adorn the building. Finally, a sunburst-patterned, stainless steel dome supports a needle-like spire.
Chrysler wanted his building to be the world’s tallest. After a rival building won the title at 927 feet, Van Alen had a 125-foot spire hoisted above the Chrysler dome to make it 1048 feet – and the world’s tallest structure. The Chrysler Building’s reach for the sky was surpassed the following year, however, by the 1250 feet of the Empire State Building.