The Chrysler Building is an excellent example of construction caught up in the quest to become the tallest in the world, which it acquired temporarily for 11 weeks before the Empire State Building surpassed it. But due to its iconic and beautiful design, the height of this construction never really mattered.
The job for the Chrysler Building started as a collaboration between architect William Van Alen and builder William H. Reynolds. Van Alen’s original design was quite ambitious, including a decorative’diamond’ crown, showroom windows which were tripled in height and topped with a 12-story part of glass corners, lightening the appearance of the building. But his designs were shown to be too costly and innovative for Reynolds’ tastes, who offered the layout and lease to industrialist Walter P. Chrysler.
But here we see that the quest for the world’s tallest building did not matter, as buildings will always be built taller. In the long run, it was Van Alen’s layout that’s most iconic. It might not be the tallest building in New York, but it’s the best looking.