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Family Vacations: Chrysler Building


The Chrysler building pierces the sky over midtown Manhattan.
The Chrysler building pierces the sky over midtown Manhattan.

Ironically, the best place to see the Chrysler Building is probably from the observation deck of its long-ago archenemy, the Empire State Building. Sadly, the Chrysler Building closed its observation decks long ago, and so gone are its fabled views of midtown Manhattan and close-ups of the building's stainless-steel crown.

The Art Deco spikes, triangular windows, and gargoyles of eagles and wings were taken from the Chrysler hood ornament's design, and the building's top was modeled after the Chrysler hubcaps. Ever since its opening in 1930, the Chrysler Building has struck observers as the perfect architectural expression of the roaring twenties, which witnessed a fierce competition to build the tallest skyscraper. The contest was so intense that the Chrysler Building, hailed as the world's tallest building by far in 1930, had to yield first place to the Empire State Building in 1931.

Admire the Chrysler Building from a distance, then see its lobby. Then (if you can resist stopping to shop on Madison Avenue), walk to the restored Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, or Bryant Park on 42nd Street. From there on Fifth Avenue, which was originally designed so that its buildings, all the same height, would form a synthetic canyon, look downtown: You'll feel like you're on top of the world.

Chrysler Building Information

Address: 405 Lexington Ave., New York, NY

Phone: 212/682-3070

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • New York State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in New York, as well as other recreational activities.
  • New York City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit New York.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.