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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
image The Skyscraper City Deco Skyscrapers
The Chrysler Interior
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Deco Skyscrapers
The Chrysler Interior
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The entrance to the building was also treated in a most spectacular manner. The surface is black granite with scintillating bluish and silver insets, so it really captures your attention. The building is white, whereas the entrance is black—a dramatic combination. You enter beneath a giant, crystal-shaped arch, finding yourself in a transitional space between the street and the lobby. This arch is about three stories high, so you sense that the lobby inside will be a vast space. But they are not giving anything away because the windows looking into the lobby are translucent, so you cannot actually see the interior. If you want see it, you have to pass through a low revolving door, then you burst into a space of spectacular drama. Though it is not actually three stories tall; in fact, it is considerably lower than that. The builders did not want to waste space that could be rented to office users. But the space is so colorful and so dramatic that you do not even notice it is lower than expected. Once inside you are carefully channeled through a space with beautiful red marble walls, yellow marble floors, and ceiling murals near the elevator banks—the most beautiful elevators, I think, ever created. You see stylized papyri on the doors and note six different elevator-cab designs, which are still intact. Exotic woods were imported from all over the world to create one of the most spectacular skyscraper interiors. Again, the building was used as a marketing tool, so it appeared frequently in Chrysler advertisements. Here you see a Plymouth juxtaposed with the Chrysler Building. You are supposed to think of how beautifully built the Chrysler Building is, and how solid and sturdy. And then, of course, you are supposed to read that into the Chrysler car, too.

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