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.
Rendering of the Pinnacle via Williams New York
When the neo-Gothic Woolworth Building was erected in 1913 as the world’s tallest building, it cost a total of $13.5 million. Now, 104 years and a partial condo conversion later, its massive, seven-story penthouse has hit the market for an exorbitant $110 million. The Wall Street Journal first got wind of the not-yet-public listing, which could be the most expensive sale ever downtown, far surpassing the current $50.9 million record at Chelsea’s Walker Tower. Dubbed the Pinnacle for its location in the 792-foot tower’s iconic green copper crown, the penthouse will encompass 9,710 square feet and boast a private elevator, 24-foot ceilings, a 400-square-foot open observatory, and views in every direction, from the World Trade Center to New Jersey to the East River.
Architecture, Battery Park City, Carter Uncut, Features, Financial District, History, opinion, Urban Design
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.
- If we’re ever going to get a new Penn Station Madison Square Garden will have to move, so a group of urban planners has proposed relocating the arena to a nearby post office.
- Ghislaine Viñas’ colorful and eclectic loft design seamlessly blends together in Tribeca.
- Ever wonder about those strange faces on the Woolworth Building? We’ve got the answers, as well as ten other fun facts about the landmark.
- Lots of Basketball player/real estate news this week. Jason Kidd puts his Hamptons mansion on the market for $7.995 million; Carmelo and LaLa Anthony check out a $15 million Chelsea penthouse; and Brooklyn Nets all-star Joe Johnson shops for a home in DUMBO’s Clocktower Building.
- Terra cotta in New York City: Our favorite buildings adorned in ceramic.
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.
Rendering of unit 31A terrace
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.
- A first glimpse inside the new Woolworth condos. [NYT]
- The penthouses at Tribeca’s Seven Harrison have hit the market. [CityRealty]
- This block near the final section of the High Line is real estate gold. [TRD]
- Downtown Brooklyn’s skyline is a getting another tall residential tower. This one will rise 65 stories at 420 Albee Square. [Brownstoner]
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.
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.