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The town hall man – a rogue

It was 1930 in New York – the year when the Crysler Building was completed. William van Alen was in constant competition with the builders of the Bank of Manhattan during the construction period, because everyone wanted to have the tallest building in the city at that time.

And so the resourceful architect resorted to a trick. He had the top of the Crysler Building assembled in the tower and only hoisted it up after the completion of the building that was taller by then, the Bank of Manhattan, and thus won the race by 37 meters.

A story that had already taken place in a similar way 50 years earlier in Vienna, and perhaps van Alen copied this ruse from the architect Friedrich von Schmidt.

On September 12, 1883, after 11 years of construction, the Vienna City Hall was completed according to the plans of architect Friedrich von Schmidt. It is still one of the largest and tallest city halls in the world. However, by order of Emperor Franz Josef, the building was not allowed to be built higher than the towers of the Votivkirche.

And in fact, the tallest tower of the City Hall measures only 98 meters, one meter less than the Votivkirche.

But the architect then placed the statue of a knight on the top to finish it off. This town hall man has a height of 3.5 meters and thus the town hall surpasses the towers of the Votivkirche by two and a half meters. Such a little rascal.

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