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Paying Homage to New York’s First Skyscrapers

Architecture // Mar 19, 2013

New York City’s iconic skyline is currently evolving. Projects such as One57, One World Trade Center and the development of the Hudson Yards will soon be in the backdrop of new postcards and movie stills. However, embracing the old with the new is a standard practice in New York City. That being said, we’d like to recognize a skyscraper that is currently seeing a lot of traffic during the celebration of its centennialThe Woolworth Building.Woolworth Building

Constructed in 1913, the Woolworth Building was built for Frank Winfield Woolworth, the owner of the “five and dime” retail chain and was designed by architect Cass Gilbert. From 1913 to 1930, the building was the world’s tallest skyscraper, an impressive run which ended when its close neighbor, 40 Wall Street, completed construction. The building is a perfect example of neo-Gothic architecture and features vaulted ceilings covered in mosaics and a grand, stained glass skylight.

As part of the building’s 100-year celebration, The Skyscraper Museum, located in downtown Manhattan, is currently paying its respects to The Woolworth Building in an exhibit that runs through July 14, 2013. “The Woolworth Building @ 100” details the skyscraper’s construction, opening reception and its 16-year record as NYC’s tallest building.

Although the interior and exterior of the building look practically identical to the original images taken on its opening day, the Woolworth Building has and will continue to change over time. In late 2012, it was announced that the building’s upper floors will be converted into luxury residences during its centennial year. If you’re in the area over the next few months, it’s worth getting a glimpse inside this landmark that will continue to outline NYC’s skyline for the next 100 years.