Designed by Cass Gilbert
One of the interesting facts about the Woolworth Building is that its designer was Cass Gilbert, an Ohioan who was also the architect for the U.S. Supreme Court building. He's considered a leader in the development of skyscrapers. Gilbert created thirty plans for the building over two years before he decided on the one that we see today.
Commissioned by Frank W. Woolworth
Frank Woolworth founded the Woolworth Company, a chain of "5 and 10" stores. When he comissioned the building, Woolworth paid for the $13,500,000 skyscraper in actual cash.
Struggles with Lewis Pierson
The Woolworth building also housed the Irving Bank, whose president was Lewis Pierson. The Irving Bank was a major building tenant and Pierson's wants were vital to the buildings design. Woolworth and Pierson frequently had animated debates over their differing visions of what the building should look like.
Old Observation Deck
The observation platform was built on the 57th floor, but was closed to the public in 1945.
National Historic Landmark
The Woolwprth Building has been a National Historic Landmark since 1966.
Beginning in 1913, Columbia Records was one of the first renters and had a very well-known studio in house. The studio was in use as early as 1917.
Frank Woolworth's Private Office
The office is done in the baroque French Empire style and is decorated in marble.
The original plan was that this was only supposed to be around a twelve or sixteen story office building at the corner of Broadway and Park Place, but Woolworth kept acquiring more real estate. The height of the building grew in the same way.
The Woolworth building's colonnade galleries are decorated with caricatures of the skyscraper's patrons. When rental agent Edward Hogan found out he was not among the caricatures made by Paul Jenewein, he was very upset and insisted that his caricature be put in too.
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