Chrysler Building in Lower Midtown . 405 Lexington Ave corner 42nd Street . This skyscraper of 319 is also a symbol of the city and a magnificent example of Art Deco architecture . It was designed in 1930 by William Van Alen to be the center of operations automobilísica Chrysler brand , being the world 's tallest building for a few months until the construction of the Empire State . Tower decoration is based on the hubcap that used at the time mark . The gargoyles shaped floor 61 Eagle and in the corners of the 31st floor are replicas of the caps that were placed in car radiators . At the time that the building was erected , the builders of New York were in a fierce competition to build the tallest skyscraper in the world . The Chrysler Building was built at an average of 4 plants per week and no workers died during its construction. Just before completion , the building stood even with Wall Street H. Craig Severance 40 , the latter subsequently added two feet to his building and claimed the title of world's tallest building ( this distinction excluded structures , such as the Eiffel Tower ) . Van Alen had previously secretly obtained permission to build a needle, which was built in the building. The Nirosta stainless steel needle was placed on top of the building one afternoon in November 1929 by the Chrysler building not only the highest in the world but also the highest building structure . Van Alen and Chrysler enjoyed this distinction for less than a year before it was delivered to the Empire State Building. Unfortunately Van Alen 's satisfaction was marred by Walter Chrysler 's refusal to pay his fees.