The 1920s saw a commercial boom in New York City, with a huge increase in residential construction and the emergence of new design trends.
Art Decowas one of the most popular styles of the time, and it was featured in some of the most iconic buildings in the city. From the Empire State Building to the Chrysler Building, Art Deco has left its mark on New York City's skyline. Built just 11 months before the Empire State Building by William Van Alen, this skyscraper has one of the most recognizable crowns of any building in the world. As the Empire State Building rises into the sky, it moves away from its base, creating a staggered terraced construction similar to a pyramid, with levels that go backwards successively.
This architectural style, better known as ziggurats, was frequently used by art deco architects. The New York Zoning Commission of that period gave precise instructions for buildings to be kept away from the street as they grew in height. In this way, the ziggurat seemed to be the most appropriate style an architect could use. Speaking of the material used, the Empire State Building's exterior is comprised of limestone, chrome bars and aluminum panels. This type of juxtaposition of different materials in construction (combining modern and industrial materials with other more traditional ones) was typical of the Art Deco architect who wanted to give more majesty to his buildings. In addition to the Chrysler Building, the Empire State lobby is very impressive.
It has a 24-carat gold mural and aluminum sheets on the ceiling, where lines of gears meet in homage to the era of mechanics. On the wall above the information desk in the lobby on Fifth Avenue is the famous representation of the Empire State Building, with beams of light that radiate from the mast. Perhaps New York City's most iconic building, the Empire State Building is another example of Art Deco in the city. This building was built between 1930 and 1931, shortly after the Chrysler Building was built. At 1,250 feet, this Midtown South building is known for its classic Art Deco elements.
The pause in construction during World War II and the rise of international style led to the end of new Art Deco in the city. New York architects were involved in a furious race for the title of tallest building in the world, and several Art Deco buildings competed for this title. New York architects were at the forefront of using new materials such as bakelite and formica plastics as well as Nirosta, a corrosion-resistant steel alloy that made outer metal skyscrapers more feasible. Amongst some of New York's most treasured and recognizable buildings are The Empire State Building and The Art Deco Chrysler Building; these skyscrapers formed part of New York's skyline for decades. Many of New York's Art Deco buildings are protected by historic preservation laws while others have been lost due to new developments or neglect. The influence of Art Deco affected many aspects of New York's public works during this period; by late 1930s most Art Deco buildings were municipal projects rather than commercial ones. From there it spread to New York where enormous skyscrapers were built and featured some of its most emblematic buildings.
Robins wrote that decades after its rise and fall Art Deco still survives and flourishes in New York; buildings that were once daring have become historic landmarks in this city. After falling out of favor and suffering neglect during New York's recession in second half 20th century its Art Deco has been reevaluated. Some examples include The Cocoa Exchange — 1 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005 70 Pine Street — 70 Pine Street, New York, NY 10270100 Barclay — 100 Barclay Street, New York, NY 10007El Dorado — 300 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024The Ardsley — 320 Central Park West, New York, NY 10025The Majestic — 115 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023One-Fifth Avenue — 1 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10003. The timelessness of Art Deco architecture is evident when looking at these iconic structures that have stood tall for decades. From their unique ziggurat designs to their use of modern materials like Nirosta steel alloy and bakelite plastics; these structures are a testament to how influential this style was during its heyday. Even today these structures remain an integral part of New York City's skyline.