NEW YORK.- A fund controlled by Abu Dhabi has acquired the Chrysler building, an Art Deco icon of the New York City skyline, for $800 million. The New York Times reported that the Abu Dhabi fund purchased a 90% stake of the building, but the property will still be controlled by Tishman Speyer Properties.
The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen to house the Chrysler Corporation. When the ground breaking occurred on September 19, 1928, there was an intense competition in New York City to build the world's tallest skyscraper. Despite a frantic pace (the building was erected at an average rate of four floors per week), no workers died during the construction of this skyscraper.
Van Alen's original design for the skyscraper called for a decorative jewel-like glass crown. It also featured a base in which the showroom windows were tripled in height and topped by twelve stories with glass-wrapped corners, creating an impression that the tower appeared physically and visually light as if floating on mid-air. The height of the skyscraper was also originally designed to be 246 metres (807 ft). However, the design proved to be too advanced and costly for building contractor William H. Reynolds, who disapproved of Van Alen's original plan. The design and lease were then sold to Walter P. Chrysler, who worked with Van Alen and redesigned the skyscraper for additional stories; it was eventually revised to be 282 metres (925 ft) tall. As Walter Chrysler was the chairman of the Chrysler Automobile Corporation, various architectural details and especially the building's gargoyles were modeled after Chrysler automobile products like the hood ornaments of the Plymouth, and in which must also exemplify the machine age in the 1920s.