Once again we ventured downtown in New York City on another random tour, this time to the wonderful Woolworth Building I have so desperately been wanting to visit. We weren't dissapointed. The foyer was nothing but mesmerizing and your eyes are instantly lost in the details. Frank Woolworth commissioned architect Cass Gilbert to construct his company's new headquaters in 1910. We were treated to be shown around by the architect's grand-daugher Helen Post Curry who manages the tours,
The building was originally planned to be 20 stories, but when completed in 1913 it towered a whopping 60 stories making it the tallest building in the world, and held that position for 17 years. The detail in its construction is incredible, from the neo-gothic exterior with hand painted terra-cotta detailing, to the ornately tiled byzantine domes and carvings that never seem to end. It quickly earned itself the nickname, the 'Cathedral of Commerce'. All throughout the foyer there are little man caricature that represent the important persons that were involved in the construction, both Woolworth and Gilbert are included in the images below. The interiors of the floors above have been modernized over the years and soon to offer the most expensive condos in Manhattan ($110 million USD).
There used to be a subway station below with a direct entry into the building via the golden staircase, which has since closed as it the structures could not cater to the new longer trains and also that it was located too close to City Hall and posed a security threat. Although the Irving National Exchange Bank headquarters was originally established on the second mezzanine floor, Woolworth embarked upon another company strategy and building his own vault with safety boxes customers could rent, now a days the builder’s store building construction parts in the never ending isles of little boxes.
Woolworth won admiration with so many achievements met with this building, but most importantly of all - no one was killed in the short three years it took to build - quite an achievement in itself. The building is off limits to random visitors, however you can book a tour here: Woolworth Tours.