This 57-story neo-Gothic building, commissioned by Frank Woolworth in 1910, still stands as one of the 20 tallest skyscrapers in Manhattan. The Woolworth Building, appropriately named for the corporate headquarters of the five-and-dime store empire, was once known as the tallest building in the city and is now recognized for its ornate design.
The 792-foot building stands at Broadway between Park Place and Barclay Street in lower Manhattan, exhibiting unique terracotta paneling, flying buttresses, spires, and gargoyles on the exterior. Inside, you will find a vaulted mosaic ceiling and stained glass. Sculptures of architect Cass Gilbert holding a model of the building and of Woolworth counting his coins hang near the elevators. Woolworth was determined to create a taller building than the 700-foot Metropolitan Life Tower, but as the number of stories rose, so did the cost. The $13.5 million dollar project was paid for in cash, which was quite unusual at the time.
Woolworth offices occupied only one and a half stories of the building; 1,000 other tenants had access to the other floors. After filing for bankruptcy in 1998, the building switched hands and was sold for $155 million to the Venator Group. Unfortunately, the building is no longer open to the public. Access used to be allowed to an observation deck near the top floor, but now visitors can only ogle at the exterior of this National Historic Landmark.
- 233 Broadway (near Barclay Street), New York, NY
- Subway Stop:
- A, C, 1, 2, 3 trains to the Chambers Street Station