Chrysler Building vs. Empire State Building

The Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are two of the tallest. They’re both part of a “race” to build the tallest building in New York City.

Before you travel to the big city, you should compare the two structures. Then, you can visit them in person and know a little bit about what you’re seeing.

How Do the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building Compare?

Walter P. Chrysler built the Chrysler Building to have a headquarters in New York. But the government helped build the Empire State Building. Both buildings opened in the 1930s, and they’re some of the tallest around.

However, the Empire State Building is a bit taller by a little more than 200 feet. Consider the stories behind the buildings and how they compare.

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building was the tallest in New York when Walter P. Chrysler finished building it. While that title didn’t last long, it’s still one of the tallest in the city.

You’ll find the Art Deco style building on the east side of Manhattan. Specifically, the building is in the Turtle Bay area.

After its completion, the building was the headquarters of Chrysler for a couple of decades. At the time of building it, it was supposedly competing with the Empire State Building to be the tallest.

It also competed against 40 Wall Street to be the tallest in the world. Currently, the building is as tall as the building that houses The New York Times.

Completion Date

Walter Chrysler finished his building in 1930. At the time, it held the title of the tallest building in the world.


The Chrysler building is 1,046 feet tall and has 77 floors. While it’s no longer the tallest building in the world, it’s definitely up there.


You’ll find the Chrysler Building at 42nd and Lexington. That puts it near the heart of midtown Manhattan, which made it an excellent headquarters spot for Chrysler.

How It Was Built

Chrysler built the Chrysler Building using his own money. While he had a car company, he didn’t take the company’s money at all.

The business owner wanted to leave the building to his children. Overall, it took a couple of years to build the structure.

To Visit

People haven’t always been able to visit the Chrysler Building, but you can now. In 2020, there was an announcement that the building is getting an observation deck. So if the Empire State Building is a bit too tall for you, this is a good alternative.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building cost the Chrysler Building its title of the tallest building. It isn’t too much taller though, but it’s still a lot taller than some structures.

This structure is also an Art Deco building, and you can find it in Midtown Manhattan. The firm Shreve, Lamb & Harmon designed and built the structure.

After completion, the Empire State Building remained the tallest building for about 40 years. It was the World Trade Center that was the first taller building to open.

Now, it’s the 7th tallest skyscraper in NYC, 9th tallest in the US, and the 48th tallest in the world. Over the years, we’ve been able to build much taller buildings, which is crazy to think about.

Completion Date

The designers worked on the Empire State Building between 1930 and 1931. That means it took less than a year to finish after the Chrysler Building opened.


If you only focus on roof height, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall. However, the antenna makes it 1,454 feet tall overall. The building contains 102 floors.


The Empire State Building is on 34th Street. It’s not quite in the center of midtown Manhattan, and it’s also a bit far north from the Financial District, but it’s still a decent spot.

How It Was Built

The government helped fund the Empire State Building. For better or worse, the building didn’t see much success initially.

After all, the building happened during the Great Depression. It also wasn’t in the best location since it wasn’t near downtown or near the Financial District. But it’s become more successful and well-known in the following decades.

To Visit

Since it’s one of the tallest skyscrapers in NYC, you can visit the Empire State Building. It’s a popular sight to see in the city, and you can visit it any day of the year. You’ll be able to ride the elevator to the top to look out over New York.

Are the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building the Same?

The Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are two separate structures. While they’re similar in size and both built in the 1930s, that doesn’t make them the same.

Neither does the fact that both use the Art Deco style. However, they’re very close together since they’re both in Manhattan and around the midtown area.

If you want to visit both, you can and should do so. You could start at the Chrysler Building and go to the top. Then, you can decide if you want to go higher up at the Empire State Building or not.

Which Is More Famous: the Chrysler or Empire State Building?

Both the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building are famous. However, the Empire State Building is probably more well-known. There may be a few reasons for this.

First, it’s slightly taller, and it held the record much longer than the Chrysler Building. The Empire State Building also takes its name from the “Empire State,” New York’s nickname.

Also, it was a public project, while the Chrysler Building was entirely private. So that may have affected the popularity of both buildings early on.

How Do the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building Differ?

The Chrysler Building and Empire State Building are very similar. However, the Empire State Building is a couple of hundred feet taller. It was also a public development, while the Chrysler Building was private. Be sure to visit both the next time you’re in New York City so that you can view the area from above.