Monochromes: Peek Inside 1945’s ‘Celestial’ Chrysler Constructing Observatory

Friday, February 28, 2014, by Amy Schellenbaum

Presenting Monochromes, a new Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress’;s photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of outdated black-and-white pictures of architecture and interior design and style of yesteryear. Have a locate you want to share? Hit up the tipline we’;d enjoy to hear from you.

a116.jpgPhoto courtesy of The Chrysler Constructing: Generating a New York Icon, Day by Day by David Stravitz Princeton Architectural Press

Today we take a break from our frequently-scheduled Library of Congress programming to have a look at a tipster’;s request: the observatory on the 71st floor of New York City’;s Chrysler Constructing. The observatory—which featured, in accordance to the book The Chrysler Constructing: One Kansas Mechanic and His Jazz-Age Tower of Babel, “a celestial motif, with sun rays painted on the walls, and Saturn-shaped lighting globes hanging from the ceiling”—opened to the public in 1945, 15 many years soon after building halted on the tower. The guide also says that the steeply-pitched gabled ceiling succeeded in generating a really feel of “disorienting splendor,” a strategy utilized by architect William Van Alen to “dramatize a state of mind.”


119_120.jpgPhoto courtesy of The Chrysler Constructing: Creating a New York Icon, Day by Day by David Stravitz Princeton Architectural Press

116.jpgPhoto courtesy of The Chrysler Creating: Producing a New York Icon, Day by Day by David Stravitz Princeton Architectural Press

chrysler_2.jpgPhoto courtesy of The Chrysler Developing: Making a New York Icon, Day by Day by David Stravitz Princeton Architectural Press

121.jpgPhoto courtesy of The Chrysler Developing: Producing a New York Icon, Day by Day by David Stravitz Princeton Architectural Press

· The Chrysler Creating: Creating a New York Icon, Day by Day [Princeton Architectural Press]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *