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Woolworth Building

Woolworth Building, looking south along Broadway

The Woolworth Building is one of the oldest – and one of the most famous – skyscrapers in New York City.

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, opposite City Hall, it opened on April 24, 1913. Originally planned to be 625 ft high, it then rose to 792 ft (241 m); construction cost $13.5 million, which Woolworth paid in cash.

For its splendor and resemblance with European Gothic cathedrals, it was labeled the Cathedral of Commerce by Rev. S. Parkes Cadman during its opening ceremony, and was the tallest building in the world from its opening until the opening of the Chrysler Building in 1930. Until 1945, an observation deck on the 58th floor attracted visitors.

Tenants included Columbia Records, which had its main New York recording studio in the Woolworth Building.

The building was owned by the company for 85 years, until 1998, when Venator Group (formerly the F.W. Woolworth Company) sold it to the Witkoff Group for $155 million.

See also:50 Tallest buildings in the U.S