5. Chrysler Building Apartments

Summit One Vanderbilt view of Chrysler Building

There were a few different hidden apartments in the Chrysler Building. One belonged to Walter Chrysler who reportedly boasted of having the highest toilet in Manhattan. LIFE photographer Margaret Bourke-White also had an apartment in the building, on the 61st floor. It was on this floor that Bourke-White, well-known for her images on skyscrapers in the 1920s and 30s, was photographed atop one of the gargoyles in 1934. Her lease was co-signed by Time, Inc. because the building wouldn’t rent 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, and 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.”