The Woolworth Building was the most recognizable skyscraper in the world until the Chrysler Building was built in 1930.
The tower was designed to be seen as a free-standing skyscraper, so all four sides were treated architecturally.
The lower U-shaped part of the building is 29 stories high.
Dubbed the "Cathedral of Commerce" upon its completion. Retail magnate Frank W. Woolworth paid for the building out of his pocket...$13.5 million.
The Woolworth has a Romanesque lobby with barrel-vaulted ceilings.
When Cass Gilbert was designing the Woolworth Building, he wanted to incorporate Gothic themes with the modern idea of a skyscraper. The result, termed Gothic Revival, features gargoyles, arches and flying buttresses.
The straight lines of the piers end in the tower decorated with gargoyles, turrents, pinnacles, and colored terra-cotta panels.
Also located in the lobby are sculpted caricatures of Frank Woolworth, Cass Gilbert and Louis Horowitz, the builder.