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Woolworth Building

Identification

Woolworth Building
Cathedral of Commerce
114681

Map

Structure in General

skyscraper
existing [completed]
rigid frame
steel
caisson foundation
terra-cotta
curtain wall
light gray
neo-gothic

Usages

commercial office
university

Facts

  • 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.
  • World's tallest building from 1913 - 1930; surpassed by The Trump Building.
  • Renovated between 1977 and 1981 for $20 million.

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More Information

Location

229-237 Broadway
1-19 Barclay Street, 2-20 Park Place
233 Broadway at Barclay Street
10007
Financial District
Manhattan
New York City
New York
U.S.A.

Technical Data

241.40 m
241.40 m
241.40 m
60.30 m
46.37 m
57
1910
1913
2000
34

Involved Companies

Cass Gilbert

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
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