Looking Forward - 10,000 Lakes Region of the WPC Club

April 2018

The Chrysler Building                                                                                       

  from the Internet

In the mid-1920s, New York City had surpassed London as the world's most populous metropolitan area. The era was characterized by its social and technological changes. Radio, cinema and the automobile became widespread. In 1927, the Chrysler Corporation became the third largest U.S. automobile manufacturer, and in 1928 Walter P. Chrysler was named Time magazine's “Person of the Year”.

After World War I there was an economic and real estate boom, and architects developed a simplified building design called Art Deco. In the late 1920s, the numerous skyscrapers built in Art Deco style dominated the New York skyline. One of them, the Chrysler Building, sits on a plot of land that is a trapezoid shape, so the building's base is similarly shaped. The spot was originally going to be the site for the Reynolds Building (former senator William Reynolds), but due to an acrimonious lawsuit between Reynolds and the architects, Walter Chrysler bought the lease, plans and architects' services in 1928. Then he added his own distinct touches to the plans. The building was paid for with Chrysler's own money; none came from the Chrysler Corporation.

From late 1928 to early 1929, modifications to the design were made with Chrysler's input for an “artistic” dome, with arches and triangular windows. Various architectural details were modeled after Chrysler automobile products, such as the radiator cap of the 1929 Chrysler, and the stylized hood ornament of the 1929 Plymouth. Gargoyles on the 31st floor and eagles on the 61st  floor were designed to signify flight and the machine age of the 1920s.

Excavation had begun in mid-November of 1928, and bedrock was reached in mid-January 1929. Construction of the building proper began on January 21, 1929. The first steel beams were installed in March, and by August the building was 35 stories high. Despite a frantic pace of almost four stories per week, no workers died during the steelwork construction. The building's height officially surpassed the Woolworth building on Oct. 16 and became the world's tallest building. The 185-foot spire was constructed in six pieces, secretly inside the framework of the building, and was erected on October 23, one day before the stock market crash. The spire brought the building to 1,048 feet.

Two days later, the Empire State Building's developer announced that his building plans had been revised to add five more floors and a spire, and the height would be 1,250 feet. The Chrysler Building was the world's tallest building for only eleven months. However, it is still the world's tallest steel-supported brick building. Stats: 77 stories, 34 elevators, $15 million to build, 392,000 rivets used on the steel structure.

The Chrysler Corporation maintained offices in the building, and the first leases to outside tenants were announced in April 1930. The building was formally opened on May 27 with a ceremony that coincided with the Merchant Association's annual meeting. By June, 65% of the available space had been leased. Construction was declared complete in August, but the New York City Department of Construction did not mark the building as finished until Feb. 1932.

The Chrysler Building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. In 2005, architects, engineers and historians were polled to choose their favorite skyscraper in the U.S. Over 90% chose the Chrysler Building.

Secretary's Report

    By Mickey Dunning

The March meeting was held on Tuesday Mar. 20, at Flaherty's Arden Bowl. There were ten members in attendance, and one visitor who decided to become a member.  Welcome to Brian Weller. He lives in Brooklyn Center, and has a 1962 Rambler American convertible, which he purchased from Elmer's Auto Museum.

Old Business

We discussed details for our club car show, the 20th annual, to be held on June 10 at Wagner's Drive-In. We will again award trophies by year instead of make. We tried that for the first time last year, and it worked out well. MPL Specialties will make the trophies. Your registration flyer will be in next month's newsletter.

Gary Keim is working on a poster for our show. We hope to have it in several publications, and placed in strategic spots very soon.

Becky and Gregg Richmann are planning the route for our Spring Cruise to Hinckley on Saturday, May 12. We will be traveling to Hinckley by back roads. We will meet at the Richmann's house in Shoreview for the start. Itinerary will be in the May newsletter.

New Business

For the culmination of “Transportation Week” at the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the director Eric Johnson is asking for a sampling of old cars to park in the museum lot from 3:00-8:00 pm on Friday, May 11. There will be security watching the cars if you want to visit the museum, or hop on one of the 1950s era buses for one of the brewery tours.

Garry wanted to let anyone interested know that he and his car are scheduled to be on Dennis Gage's TV show, “My Classic Car” which will air on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 am on the Velocity Channel. This is the episode from the “Kool Deadwood Nites” 2017 car show last August in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Let's hope he doesn't end up on the cutting room floor.

Chili Feed Potluck

Our party on Saturday, March 10 at the MN Transportation Museum was sparsely attended. There were only twelve of us, and only three chilis, but there was still enough food (even to feed the blacksmiths in the shop), and we all had a good time.  We rode the train, visited the workshop, and had plenty of time for visiting.

“Dutch Baby” Recipe

This is a great easy option for either a dessert or a savory brunch dish. The Dutch baby is like a giant popover; bake and then top with a creative sweet or savory filling.

Preheat oven to 425º. Place oven rack in the middle position. You will need a heavy oven-proof (cast iron is ideal) 10 to 12 inch skillet.

Combine:  1 cup milk, ¾ cup flour, ½ tsp. salt and 4 eggs. Beat very well with a mixer or blender until the batter is smooth. If you are making a dessert, add 2 Tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. lemon zest to the batter.

Place 4 Tbsp. butter in the skillet and set it in pre-heating oven until butter is melted. Remove pan from oven and swirl butter around to coat pan. Pour batter into pan and bake for 17-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

While the Dutch Baby is baking, prepare the filling.  A few ideas -

Sweet: Jam or lemon curd with cut-up fruit, pie filling, sausage with maple syrup. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Savory: Lightly sautéed spinach or asparagus tips with Swiss cheese, finely chopped ham in Hollandaise sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.