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World's Most Beautiful Buildings

The Chrysler Building, New York City

Ralph Grunewald

The Chrysler Building, New York City

Designed by architect William van Alen, the Chrysler’s shiny, filigreed Art Deco spire is the most indispensable piece of the New York City skyline, perfectly balancing the primal thrust of the classic American skyscraper with the desire for a little bling. (It was the world’s tallest for less than a year in 1931 before that zeppelin-masted tower eight blocks south took the spotlight.) Day or night, its stainless-steel crown still dazzles like nothing else.

Icon Alert: This is possibly the only building in the world that is decorated with automotive hood ornaments: the big eagles on the 61st floor were copied from a 1929 Chrysler.

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