2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kirsten Davis


The Chrysler building was constructed in 1930 in Manhattan, New York. It first got its start in 1927 by William H Reynolds, a well known developer. In October of 1928 Reynolds sold the building to Walter Chrysler, who quickly took hold of the building and began changing the plans for it. He demolished the work that had been completed up to that point so he could start over.

Chrysler also changed the height of the building from a 67 story building to a 77 story building. This increase raised the building height and made it the tallest building in the world. It would later be surpassed by the Empire State Building.

The chrysler building was designed in an architectural style called Art Deco. This style of architecture first started in France during WW1 and the Chrysler building is one of the most renowned examples of this architecture. The building was also influenced by Chrysler and his automobiles. For example, the gargoyles on the building resemble the Plymouth automobile. During this time period, Chrysler was having large success with car companies and also his personal fame. It is easy to see how much of his work outside of the building influenced the architecture that would go into it.

The 1920’s represented a decade of increased disparities between economic classes. From those of rich bankers to those on the industrial lines, to Walter Chrysler himself, each had their own successes to celebrate. Altogether, to prove their high status and power from their American Industrial endeavors, the Chrysler Building was concocted as a celebration of such prosperity.

The Chrysler Building is recognized as an identifying object soaring high in the New York City skyline. The history encompassing the Chrysler Building is as complex as the engineering and artwork that make it up. More than just simply a structure and one of architectural magnificence, the Chrysler Building stands as a window into a time period in American history full of excitement, controversy, and importance.



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