When the neo-Gothic Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway was erected in 1913 as the world’s tallest building, it cost a total of $13.5 million to construct. Though many have surpassed it in height, the instantly-recognizable Lower Manhattan landmark has remained one of the world’s most iconic buildings, admired for its terra cotta facade and detailed ornamentation–and its representation of the ambitious era in which it arose. Developer and five-and-dime store entrepreneur Frank Winfield Woolworth dreamed of an unforgettable skyscraper; the building’s architect, Cass Gilbert, designed and delivered just that, even as Woolworth’s vision grew progressively loftier. The Woolworth Building has remained an anchor of New York City life with its storied past and still-impressive 792-foot height.
After its iconic neo-Gothic architecture and copper crown, the Woolworth Building is known by New Yorkers for being off-limits to the public, but Untapped Cities is your source to get inside the landmark. Next week, they’ll be hosting their uber-popular Special Access tour, which takes guests into the spectacular “cathedral-esque” lobby and mezzanine, as well as the cellar level with its abandoned bank vault and subway entrances. You’ll learn about the building’s history, restoration, and incredible interior Art Deco architecture. And for those true history buffs, next month they’ll offer a VIP version of this tour with building architect Cass Gilbert’s great-granddaughter, Helen Post Curry.
The 101-year old Woolworth Building has been in the news quite a bit lately, especially since it was first announced that the top 30 floors would be turned into 34 apartments; one of which is a nine-story penthouse is expected to hit the market for a record $110 million. But the Woolworth has long been at the center of New York life with its storied past and lofty 792-foot height.
It cost $13.5 million to erect the tower in 1913, and the building was the world’s tallest when it first debuted. Though a number—50 to be exact—have surpassed it in height, the Woolworth Building has remained one of the world’s most admired for its detailed and compelling ornamentation. Like other prestigious companies of its time, Frank W. Woolworth wanted something unforgettable and the building’s architect, Cass Gilbert, certainly delivered. The tower is filled to the brim with mosaics, stained-glass, golden embellishments and of course tons of those carved faces and figures.
- Mitchell Funk’s super colorful urban photography is the perfect pick-me-up to brighten your day. Browse through the collection on Fubiz.
- Gothamist provides a virtual tour of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, designed by Cass Gilbert in 1919 as the country’s largest military base through WWII.
- Sen. Charles Schumer proposes a bill to protect landmarks. According to AM New York, it would increase the penalty for crimes such as trespassing on the Brooklyn Bride and One World Trade Center, like we saw over the summer.
- Apartment Therapy talks trash day in NYC. We can smell it now….
- Guastavino did more than just tiled arches. Daytonian in Manhattan takes a look at a row of Moorish Revival rowhouses he designed on West 78th Street.
Images: Via Mitchell Funk (L); Brooklyn Army Terminal (R)