Friday, 11 July 2008

Chrysler Building - William van Allen


42nd_street_chrysler_buildingAmerica's favourite art deco skyscraper is now Abu Dhabi's. No, the 1930s work of art hasn't been stripped down, boxed up and shipped to the desert paradise -- it's been sold to an Abu Dhabi pensions fund for the princely (or should that be sheikly) sum of US$800 million, the sum the fund paid for a 90% stake.

Of course, this will not make one whit of difference to the way the building is used, run or managed, despite the worst fears of the American equivalents of Winston Peters who fear that it will now disappear from Manhattan's streets, or the loonies who will claim it will become a haven for terrorists. It will continue to be the icon it ever was, in the same place it ever was, giving the same joy it ever did. And the American economy is $800 million richer for the purchase.

9481499Those same xenophobes might care to consider however that this sort of sale is happening every day, and more and and more of it will keep happening as long as the American Federal Reserve Bank keeps trying to destroy the value of American dollar by inflating the currency ( a policy most of the 'phobic wonders support), and as long as American environmentalists (most of whom are rabidly 'phobic) keep holding up the development of new oil fields and the construction of new refineries -- supply-side restrictions that are transferring huge wealth to the oil economies of the Middle East.

In other words, the sale is a symbol that the 'conventional wisdom' of both central bankers and enviro-wankers -- not to mention politicians -- is making America and the rest of the non-oil-producing world poor. That's the sort of thing you might really want to worry about.


  1. Awesome pics, PC! Could you tell me the name of the brave girl with the Hasselblad on the eagle's neck?

  2. Poor old Walter P Chrysler. If he were alive today and could see what has become of his greatest creation... He'd surely be disappointed.

    The Chyrsler Corporation is walking dead.

    Luckily the tower still stands.


  3. richard mcgrath19 Jul 2008, 08:40:00

    Glenn - you asked who the photographer was perched on top of one of the Chrysler Building gargoyles. It was Margaret Bourke-White. A caption for this photograph, that I found online, reads: "LIFE magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White atop a steel gargoyle protruding from the 61st story of the (then brand-new) Chrysler Building, photographing the New York City skyline. This photograph was taken in 1934 by Bourke-White's unsung partner, Oscar Graubner, her darkroom technician. Graubner, a photographer himself, went to work for Margaret soon after she moved to New York from Cleveland."

  4. that's not a Hasselblad..that's a Graflex.
    Hasselblad didn't enter the american market until sometime in the 1950's
    The camera is most likely a Graflex Super D


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