2. There Were A Couple of Apartments Hidden Inside
On the top floor, Walter P. Chrysler had a private apartment and office, and was said to boast of having the highest toilet in Manhattan. But LIFE photographer Margaret Bourke-White, well-known for her images on skyscrapers in the 1920s and 30s, lived in another apartment on the 61st floor. It was on this floor that Bourke-White herself was photographed atop one of the gargoyles in 1934. The lease was co-signed by Time, Inc. because the building wouldn’t rent it to a woman, despite her wealth and fame. She paid $387.92 per month to live there, a good amount of money at the time.
According to The New York Times, Bourke-White hired “her good friend, John Vassos, an industrial designer, to create an Art Moderne stylish interior, with extensive built-ins, subdued palette, woods and metals. There was a main sitting area, an alcove for her desk, stairs that go out to the terrace. The superintendent reminded Bourke-White that her lease did not include access to the terrace, and she wrote back, “Of course.” But she invited businessmen whom she wanted to befriend to have cocktails on the terrace.”