The Chrysler Building by David Stravitz
Creating a New York Icon Day by Day

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Synopsis

The Chrysler Building is surely the jewel in the crown of New York City's skyline. Completed in 1930, the 77-story Art Deco skyscraper--the tallest in the world at the time it was finished--quickly became the symbol of big city glamour, excitement, and style. Its cloud-piercing spire and gleaming, steel-clad ornament depicting gargoyles, hubcaps, and the winged helmets of Mercury came to represent the thrill of the Machine Age at its most exuberant.

But, until now, this magnificent building has also been one of the least documented and studied, a simple result of the fact that there were no known archives relating to its design or construction. This material was lost in the decades following its completion, or so everyone believed, until author David Stravitz discovered a box of negatives on the floor of a defunct stock photo company, just days before they were to be shipped off for silver reclamation. The never-before-seen photographs, reproduced as sumptuous duotones in this oversize book, illustrate the day-by-day construction of this American icon.

The photographs were taken by professional photo companies hired to document the construction of the building. In so doing, they also captured the day-to-day life taking place on the streets and in the environs of the Chrysler Building in exquisite detail.

This book beautifully illustrates the history of one of the most important buildings in New York as it emerged from street level to spire.

 

About David Stravitz

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David Stravitz is an entrepreneur and a photography aficionado. He lives in New York City.Christopher Gray is an architectural historian and a preeminent authority on New York City whose writing appears frequently in the New York Times.
 
Published September 1, 2002 by Princeton Architectural Press. 192 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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While buying some equipment from an elderly photographer, Stravitz, a designer and product developer who holds more than 100 patents and 400 copyrights, stumbled onto a collection of negatives taken by the commercial and industrial photographers Peyser & Patzig that chronicled the construction of...

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