With no observation deck, it's been decades since the public could go to the shiny top of the Chrysler Building—one of New York's most famous skyscrapers.
But it will soon join the ranks of buildings like the Empire State Building and One World Trade, which regularly take people up to their tippy tops, with a new observation deck. On Tuesday, its owner RFR Realty presented plans to reopen the skyscraper’s 61st and 62nd floors to the public during a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing, which was first reported by 6sqft.com.
The observation deck would require adding glass panels on the north and south terraces and existing doors would be modified to allow access. Existing windows would be replaced with single-lite windows. The new glass wouldn't be able to be seen from the street, according to Leslie Jabs, the principal at Gensler, said during the hearing.
But, fun fact: The upgrades would allow visitors to get an up-close look at the building’s gargoyle eagles.
LPC commissioners voiced unanimous support for the proposal, according to 6sqft.
The original observatory, called the Celestial, opened at the Chrysler Building on the 71st floor in 1945. In the 1970s, it closed and was gutted for office space. In the 1980s, the space was transformed into a palatial workplace for about eight people, according to the New York Times. It reportedly has a 40-mile circle of vision.
On the 66th to 68th floors, an exclusive lunch spot for executives once existed called The Cloud Club. That opened in the 1930s, when the building was still one of the tallest in NYC. It acted as a speakeasy during Prohibition and attracted affluent members from Pan Am founder Juan Trippe to publisher Condé Montrose Nast, 6sqft reported.
In 2019, RFR bought the 77-story pre-war building for $151 million, which was reportedly a major discount since it sold for $800 million in 2008. With longtime tenants of the building's arcade space now out, 6sqft says that the building requires about a $200 million investment to attract new tenants.
In any case, in just a couple of years, we could have a new angle to view our beautiful city from.
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