Toronto. One of the attractions of the Chrysler skyscraper in the Big Apple was access to its gargoyles for a spectacular view of New York City. The Chrysler Building was for a brief 11 months the tallest building in the world until the nearby Empire State Building opened its doors and took the crown in 1931. It is still an amazing creation in the art deco style but no longer owned by Walter Chrysler or his estate. Nor is it the headquarters of Chrysler Corporation as it was from 1930 to the mid 1950s.
And in 1931, American Photographer Margaret Bourke-White, was photographed as she emerged from one of the buildings massive gargoyles to capture the NYC skyline.
This photograph was one of the ones used in the May 16, 1955 issue of LIFE magazine on page 16 in the Speaking of Pictures column to celebrate her 25 years working as a photographer for the TIME-LIFE organization, beginning work for its FORTUNE magazine before joining the staff of LIFE magazine.
Her work has been well documented over the years. She died from complications due to Parkinson’s disease at age 67. Thanks to my friend George Dunbar for reminding me of this great photographer and her association with LIFE magazine (she photographed the very first LIFE magazine cover shot of the Fort Peck dam (under construction at the time) featured in the November 23, 1936 issue).