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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

- The Woolworth Building. History.

The Woolworth Building, at fifty-seven stories, is one of the oldest — and one of the most famous — skyscrapers in New York City. More than ninety years after its construction, it is still one of the fifty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City. The building is a National Historic Landmark, having been listed in 1966.
Constructed in neo-Gothic style by architect Cass Gilbert, who was commissioned by Frank Woolworth in 1910 to design the new corporate headquarters on Broadway, between Park Place and Barclay Street in Lower Manhattan, opposite City Hall, the Woolworth Building opened on April 24, 1913. Originally planned to be 625 feet (190.5 meters) high, in accordance with the area zoning laws, the building was elevated to 792 feet (241 meters); construction cost was US$13,500,000 and Woolworth paid in cash.
With splendor and a resemblance to European Gothic cathedrals, the structure was labeled the Cathedral of Commerce by the Reverend S. Parkes Cadman during the opening ceremony. The tallest building in the world until the construction of 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building in 1930, an observation deck on the 58th floor attracted visitors until 1945.
Owned by the Woolworth company for 85 years until 1998, when the Venator Group (formerly the F.W. Woolworth Company) sold the building to the Witkoff Group for $155 million.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks a few blocks away, the building was without electricity and telephone service for a few weeks but suffered no significant damage.

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