Carter Uncut brings New York City’s latest development news under the critical eye of resident architecture critic Carter B. Horsley. This week Carter brings us his fourth installment of “Skyline Wars,” a series that examines the explosive and unprecedented supertall phenomenon that is transforming the city’s silhouette. In this post Carter looks at the evolution of the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Lower Manhattan at the start of the Great Depression was the world’s most famous and influential skyline when 70 Pine, 20 Exchange Place, 1 and 40 Wall Street, and the Woolworth and Singer buildings inspired the world with their romantic silhouettes in a relatively balanced reach for the sky centered around the tip of Lower Manhattan.
Midtown was not asleep at the switch and countered with the great Empire State, the spectacular Chrysler and 30 Rockefeller Plaza but they were scattered and could not topple the aggregate visual power and lure of Lower Manhattan and its proverbial “view from the 40th floor” as the hallowed precinct of corporate America until the end of World War II.
The convenience and elegance of Midtown, however, became increasingly irresistible to many.
More on the the history of Lower Manhattan and what’s in store
Images: Greenwich Street loft via Ghislaine Viñas (L); Woolworth Building detail via Library of Congress (R)
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.
See the faces of the Woolworth building
Rendering of unit 31A terrace
First came the floorplans for the $110 million penthouse, then the first set of interior renderings, and now we have a new sneak peak inside the highly anticipated Woolworth Tower Residences.
The Post has profiled unit 31A, a four-bedroom, full-floor unit on the market for $26.4 million. And along with a written description–“a kitchen with all the modern conveniences, a massive formal dining room, hidden bars, a library and…two terraces to enjoy the view from 31 stories up”– come two new renderings, those of the terrace and the kitchen.
More details ahead
, Fri, September 26, 2014
Woolworth interior. Image courtesy of The Woolworth Tower Residences (left); 420 Albee Square (right)
- Yesterday we got a sneak peek at the penthouse floor plan of the Woolworth Building. Now floor plans for several other units have emerged. [TRD]
- New Yorkers are loving Long Island City. Rockrose’s 709-unit, 42-story rental in Court Square is now fully leased. [TRD]
- Sales at 325 Lexington Avenue will launch this fall. [Curbed]
- Arlene Farkas’ duplex at the River House will be auctioned off September 3rd. The co-op board blocked Farkas’ $7.8M sale to a French ambassador, leaving her tied up with $6M in debt. She’s begging lenders to give her 60 days to find another buyer. [NYDN]
- Could this be the site of the Williamsburg Apple Store? [Gothamist]
A Woolworth Building floor plan (left); The rumored Apple Store site (right)
It looks like Alchemy Properties‘ plan to price the penthouse at the Woolworth building for $110 million has been approved by the New York Attorney General’s office, making it one of the most expensive listings to ever hit the downtown market at $11,700 per square foot. According to The Real Deal, who got a first look at the floor plans, the unit will be called the “Pinnacle” and host 9,400 square feet with about 500 square feet of outdoor space.
More plans and pricing this way
This week, we’ve got a well-rounded roster of events for you, spanning from sticker art to rare architecture to dance and film. Pay a visit to one of our fair city’s oft forgotten boroughs and sail the high seas on over to Staten Island for Saturday’s take over, which will transform Artist Alley into a festival of live art making, drinks, and music.
Next week, break out the picnic blanket and catch a free summer flick in Midtown’s best park, or wake yourself up with not only a coffee and fresh juice, but a raging (pre-work) dance party. Treat your architectural side to a private tour of very private sites—the newly renovated United Nations chambers or the closed-to-the-public lobby of the Woolworth building—and then finish the week off by satiating your inner modern art nerd with the contemporary abstractions of Carly Ivan Garcia.
All the best events here
What’s better than getting $56.5 million for your 7,600-square-foot, five-bedroom duplex? Joining forces with your neighbor and adding in your second apartment to list the whole kit and caboodle for a record $118.5 million. At least that’s what Five Star Electric’s Gary Segal chose to do, according to the Wall Street Journal. Segal briefly listed his Ritz-Carlton duplex, which has two terraces and views of the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center, for $56.5 million last year before apparently getting shiny ball syndrome and taking it off the market. Who wants $56.5 million when you could get $7,600 per square foot? It appears his neighbor, financier Randall Yanker, agreed after putting his 4BR/5BA duplex up for sale earlier this year, asking $23 million, then lowering to $19 million, before ultimately taking it off the market.
Check out some photos of the three-condo combo here
According to Bloomberg News, the penthouse at the Woolworth building will ask for a jaw-dropping $110 million when units hit the market this Fall. This is the highest-ever ask for an apartment in downtown Manhattan, and one sure to send the market into a frenzy.
Jonathan Miller, president of appraiser Miller Samuel Inc., told Bloomberg that the price is indicative of the prestige and unique history of the landmarked building, rather than the location or its status as a luxury apartment. “We’ve seen rapid absorption downtown,” he told Bloomberg, “but this project is unlike anything that’s come online.”
More about the penthouse this way