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October 23: The Chrysler Building deploys its spire on this date in 1929


Walter Chrysler rose from his first job as a janitor to create Chrysler and set General Motors straight. By the mid-1920s, Chrysler was thinking of his children -- namely, giving them an inheritance beyond automaker stock. When the opportunity arose to jump into the race among New York builders to construct the world's tallest skyscraper, Chrysler went all in, designing an Art Deco masterpiece gilded with outsized reproductions of Plymouth hood ornaments. The competition was so fierce Chrysler and his builders kept their full design a secret. On this day in 1929, workers attached the Chrysler Building's iconic spire -- which had been assembled inside the building, hidden from view. It was the first building to top 1,000 feet in height, and remains an architectural triumph.
Photo: joiseyshowaa via Flickr