NYC – Chrysler Building – Hub Caps and Hood ornaments

The Chrysler Building


I imagine there are thousands of articles about the Chrysler Building. This week, I was walking through mid-town and became awe-struck by the sun hitting the Chrysler building. I was reminded of an article about “hub caps” on the building.

The Chrysler Building is located at 405 Lexington Ave in Midtown Manhattan adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.

Unless you have business within the building, you can only go into the lobby. The lobby, however, should not be missed. It is a truly spectacular example of Art Deco design, the Jazz Age at its finest. You can see the beautiful mural on the ceiling, the clock and the beautiful elevators, each with their own custom designed doors. The lobby is open Monday through Friday, from 8am to 6pm.


When the building opened in 1930, there was an observation deck called “Celestial” on the 71st floor. It closed to the public in 194 and is currently occupied by a private firm.

If you take a look at the 31st floor, you will notice some interesting artistic elements.  On all four corners of this floor are silver winged ornaments.  These designed as the cap of the God Mercury, the god of speed, an inspiration for Walter Chrysler.  These caps were used as radiator caps on Chrysler automobiles.

The motifs surrounding the winged caps, are images of the 1929 Chrysler Speedster, including chrome hubcaps.

This is from internet
Internet photo

There are some decorative designs associated with automobiles on the facades, namely simulated hubcaps near the top of one rung of setbacks

The hubcaps, eagles and hood ornament decorations, however, are barely noticeable from the street and the building’s base is surprisingly spartan.



Fun Facts

The Chrysler Building Though the interior skeleton of the building is steel, the exterior is brick. The Chrysler Building is still the tallest brick building in the world.

There are 3,862 windows on the facade of the building.