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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

233 Broadway at Barclay Street
10007
Financial District
Manhattan
New York City
New York
U.S.A.

Technical Data

791.99 ft
791.99 ft
791.99 ft
197.83 ft
152.13 ft
57
1910
1913
2000
34

Involved Companies

Cass Gilbert
construction company, elevator supplier, facade supplier, owner, property management, steel supplier, structural engineering, tenant

Features & Amenities

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