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One Wall Street And The Woolworth Building Represent The Transformation Of Lower Manhattan

Forbes // Apr 18, 2019

An ambitious project is taking shape all the way downtown, at One Wall Street. The memorable 1931 building is a landmark 55-story limestone Art Deco tower that holds a distinct position on the New York skyline, occupying an entire block at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street and neighbored to the east by the New York Stock Exchange. Originally built for the Irving Trust Company by prominent architect Ralph Walker, it was expanded in 1963. The property contains approximately 1.1million square feet of floor area and is one of downtown’s most distinctive structures.

One Wall Street housed offices until 2014, when it was purchased by Macklowe Properties. The historic building is the largest office-to-condo conversion in the history of New York City and will offer 566 condominiums with 176,000 square feet of amenity space.

“Located in the epicenter of Downtown, One Wall Street will be the heart of the renaissance transforming the neighborhood, bringing world-class, fully amenitized condo living to the birthplace of New York City,” said Harry Macklowe, Chairman of Macklowe Properties.

The project is especially notable because, not very long ago, the financial area of lower Manhattan was like a small town: emptied of people after dark. Strictly an office district, it was populated by suits during the day, silent and deserted at night.

The personality of the area has been transformed as creative young people flock downtown to live and work. They are attracted to historic buildings like One Wall Street, a welcome contrast to the glassy towers of Midtown, as well as to the proximity of New York Harbor and to the many jobs created by companies that have moved to lower Manhattan, including Condé Nast, Spotify, GroupM, and Time Inc.

In fact, the downtown Manhattan residential population has tripled since 2000, with 61,000 residents. Tourists flock here at a rate of 14 million annually. The neighborhood is now like an old city reinvigorated with the comforts and innovations of a new one. In addition to memorable architecture, top-tier educational institutions, shopping and dining, there is robust transportation infrastructure as exemplified by The Oculus. A glass and steel structure designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to look like a dove in flight, its design brings light down into the subterranean rail station and shopping center. More than a transportation hub and mall, The Oculus is a tourist destination in itself.

In response to the need for more housing in this now-bustling neighborhood, another of lower Manhattan’s iconic office buildings is being transformed.

When completed in 1913, the Woolworth Building was the tallest building in the world. Its neo-Gothic façade, heavily ornamented with terra cotta, has earned it the sobriquet “The Mozart of Skyscrapers.” An office building designed by Cass Gilbert, its lobby is the only New York interior that is landmark-protected.

Today, French architect Thierry W Despont is transforming the top thirty floors into The Woolworth Tower Residences: thirty-three luxury condominiums atop a celebrated New York City landmark.

Clearly, the Financial District has become a multi-use and dynamic part of the city, alive at all hours of the day.

Original Article: Forbes