91 years ago on May 27th, 1930
The Chrysler Building opens with a formal ceremony, but construction would not be complete until August 1930
It became the world's tallest building after a surprising ending to what had been declared the Race to the Sky, where the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street were both under construction and racing to surpass the Woolworth Building's height. Although 40 Wall, then called the Bank of Manhattan Building, was completed first and had taken the title of world's tallest building, the architects of the Chrysler Building had a trick prepared, and just one month later they took the title by revealing the Chrysler Building's 125-foot iconic spire, bolting it together in the span of 90 minutes and bringing the final height to 1,046 feet. The architects of 40 Wall would argue that their building should still be considered the world's tallest, as it contained actual usable floor space at a higher level. The Chrysler Building would soon lose the tallest building title just one year later when the Empire State Building would win the Race to the Sky and remain the world's tallest building until the World Trade Center was built.