From 1929 to 1931, the tallest building in the world before the Empire State Building was opened was the Chrysler Building in New York City.
In the 1920s, its architect, William Van Alen, was commissioned to design the world’s tallest building.
Simultaneously his former partner, H. Craig Severance, was commissioned by another company to do the same.
A competition ensued and it appeared that Severance’s design for the Bank of Manhattan Company in New York would better Van Alen’s design by two feet.
However, when workers secretly added the spire to the Chrysler Building, it reached a record-breaking 1,046 feet.
On May 1, 1931, the new 1,250-foot Empire State Building surpassed them both.