Chrysler Building

One of New York City's most iconic skyscrapers is also one of its most energy–efficient.

The Chrysler Building, of course, is one of the most identifiable of the icons that make up New York City’s skyline.  Its stainless steel, stepped-up dome top, covered with triangle windows, and its needle-like spire are hard to miss. Designed by the famed architect William Van Alen, its Art Deco style is as beautiful in its 21st-century setting today as it was when it was built in 1930.

During construction, Van Alen was involved in a race to build the world’s tallest building. To keep the tower’s height a secret from the public, Van Alen had the famous needle-like spire brought to the apex of the building in 5 pieces, where it was installed in less than two hours. These additional 37.5 meters totaled the building height at 1048 feet and made it, at the time, the tallest building in the world, as well as the first building to break the 1000-foot barrier. As of today, the Chrysler Building is still the tallest brick building in the world.

The Chrysler Building’s unforgettable  exterior is matched with a lavish interior that rivals any other. Its three-story marble and steel lobby has three entrances that give it a triangle shape. Every bit of the lobby mimics the exterior’s Art Deco architecture, including the intricate elevator doors and interior wood panel patterns.  The lobby also showcases a ceiling mural painted by Edward Trumbull titled “Transport and Human Endeavor,” installed to reflect the technical progress that was taking place during the late 1920s.

Even though the Chrysler Building was built in 1930, it underwent major renovations in 1998. Although its classic design features remained, renovations to the interior building and mechanical systems, as well as the façade and building envelope, are helping the building save energy. It earned its first Energy Star rating in 2008 with a score of 85, and most recently in 2012 with a score of 84. With its iconic exterior, lavish interior, and sustainable design and operational features, it’s no surprise that the Chrysler Building ranks number 9 on the American Institute of Architects’ ”List of America’s Favorite Architecture.”

405 Lexington Ave, New York, New York  
Grand Central 
Energy Star 
Abu Dhabi Investment Council; Tishman Speyer 
William Van Alen 
Year Built
Square Footage
1.2 million square feet 
Earned Energy Stars in 2008 (85) and 2012 (84)