chrysler-building-skyscrapers-new-york-city-skyline-roof-darkcyanidePhoto by Dark Cyanide

The Chrysler Building is one of the most beloved of New York City’s skyscrapers, an architectural manifestation of both the Art Deco era and the automobile age. Famous as it may be, the Chrysler Building holds many fascinating secrets, compounded by the fact that it is difficult to visit and doesn’t offer tours, unlike the Woolworth Building and the Empire State Building. Here are 10 lesser known facts about the Chrysler Building, many derived from an Q&A with David Stravitz, the author of The Chrysler Building: Creating a New York Icon Day by Day with The New York Times in 2009.

1. There Used to Be A Three-Level Members Club and Speakeasy Near the Top

Photo via NYPL Collections

The Cloud Club once belonged to a group of mile-high power lunch spots in New York City atop the city’s most distinctive skyscrapers. The New York Times calls The Cloud Club “the inspiration for many of the others.” It was initially designed for Texaco, which occupied 14 floors of the Chrysler Building, and used as a restaurant for executives. It opened with 300 members of New York City’s business elite.

The Cloud Club had an eclectic mix of design, ranging from Futurist in the main dining room, Tudor for the lounge, and an Old English grill room. Perhaps because of its decor, or its original function, it never became hip and stylish like the Rainbow Room but it did have amenities like a barber shop and locker rooms that were used to hide alcohol during Prohibition. The club closed in the late 1970s, the spaces gutted for office tenants.

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2 thoughts on “Top 10 Secrets of the Chrysler Building in NYC

  1. My father worked in the Chrysler Building for Texaco back in the late 40’s and through 1962. He passed away that year. His name was James Rodman. Anyone out there that may have known him.

    His loving daughter,

  2. 40 Wall Street was the headquarters of The Bank of The Manhattan Company. Originally, The Manhattan Company built pipes made of wood to supply water to homes and businesses in downtown NYC. The name remained until it merged with the Chase National Bank and became known as The Chase Manhattan Bank, today’s JP Morgan Chase. In my opinion, JPMC should be broken up and the JPM investment bank separated from the commercial bank.

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