One of the most famous skyscrapers in the world is up for sale. The Chrysler Building of New York City, which briefly held the title as the tallest building in the world, is on the market, reports the Wall Street Journal. The building is currently owned by a government fund out of Abu Dhabi, which paid $800 million for a 90% stake in 2008, along with developer Tishman Speyer. The building went up in 1930 and earned the world's-tallest title thanks to some last-minute subterfuge: Its builders tacked on a secret 185-foot-high spire to edge out the Bank of Manhattan, which was going up around the same time. Both buildings, however, were eclipsed by the Empire State Building the following year.
That the building has such a long history also works against it, notes the Journal. Pushing 90, it doesn't have modern amenities such as massive windows now in high demand by businesses. Plus, maintenance is especially costly given its old bones. Still, “there might be a billionaire who comes along and says, ‘I want to tell the world I own the Chrysler Building,’” says one real estate exec. These days, the 77-story building doesn't even rank in the top 5 tallest buildings of New York City, notes CNN. It comes in No. 6 on that score. But the building's prestige endures, and anyone who has seen movies such as Spider-Man, Armageddon, and Independence Day would be familiar with its art deco style. (Read more Chrysler Building stories.)