The Woolworth Building is a notable historical landmark building located in Broadway, Manhattan in New York City. It is one of the early US skyscrapers, which was completed in 1913. It is one of the oldest surviving skyscrapers not only in the city but the entire USA. Since it was completed, it is consistently included in the 20 tallest buildings in New York City and belongs among the one hundred tallest buildings in the US.
Woolworth Building History
The Woolworth Building was first commissioned by Frank Woolworth, owner of the F.W. Woolworth Company, who was planning to set up a new corporate headquarters on Broadway. It was originally designed to stand just 420 feet or 130 meters tall with 20 stories. But it was eventually redesigned to stand 792 feet or 241 meters tall. The building was designed by architect Cass Gilbert. Construction of the building started sometime in 1910 and was completed on 1913. The building was opened on April 24, 1913, which involved then US President Woodrow Wilson opening the building by turning on the lights remotely using a button from Washington, D.C. by the time it was completed, Woolworth Building was considered as the tallest building in the world, overtaking Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. The building held on to this record until the 1930’s by 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building, both of which were also built in New York City.
Woolworth Building Features
The Woolworth Building is designed in the neo-Gothic architectural style. With its close resemblance to several European Gothic cathedrals, the Woolworth Building was nicknamed as “The Cathedral of Commerce”. The building tower is built over an office block base. The Woolworth Building stands 792 feet or 241 meters tall. It has 57 total floors. An observation deck was built on the 57th floor of the building in 1930. It attracted visitors to view the New York skyline until it was closed off in 1941.
The facade of the Woolworth Building is facing the main frontage of Broadway. The exterior features limestone-colored and glazed terra cotta panels. Gothic detailing is focused on its visible crown, which was over scaled to make it noticeable even from street level.