Long before the retail chains we know, Woolworth’s was the most successful American and international five-and-dime, the originator of a model that is still relevant today. As a result, three decades after his first Utica, New York, store opened in 1879, Frank W Woolworth had become a genuine mogul, eager to secure a prominent corner of Manhattan and erect the kind of trophy headquarters he would call “an ornament to the city.”
To do so, Woolworth turned to Cass Gilbert, an architect trained in the principles of Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A Midwesterner and early proponent of the skyscraper, Gilbert seized the opportunity to develop his ideas on an unprecedented scale. Woolworth famously asked him: “How high can you make the tower?” Originally designed to be 420 feet, the building eventually reached 792 feet, nearly three times the height of nearby Trinity Church, then New York’s loftiest structure.
Long a beacon of New York’s TriBeCa, the neo-Gothic icon stands as the most imposing neighbor to the west of New York’s administrative centre, City Hall, and the adjacent, newly restored City Hall Park.
Built in just two years, the daring construction was amply chronicled throughout the world. Finally on 24 April 1913, with the flip of a switch from inside the White House, President Woodrow Wilson officially illuminated the Woolworth Building, thus inaugurating the world’s tallest construction. First anointed “the Cathedral of Commerce” in reference to its Gothic-style architecture, the Woolworth Building has been continuously admired for its gorgeous, polychromatic terracotta-clad facade.
Today, just over a century after its completion, this National Historic Landmark is experiencing a rebirth.
Developed by Alchemy Properties under the aesthetic direction of eminent New York-based design architect Thierry W Despont, its top 30 floors have been reimagined into 33 prized condominium homes, crowned by an extraordinary eight-story pinnacle penthouse.
Called The Woolworth Tower Residences, the homes honor the pioneering spirit and exquisite attention to detail of the building’s creator.
The perfect proportions of Gilbert’s tower provide an ideal canvas for Despont’s timeless yet contemporary aesthetic, while generously arranged floor plans are designed for entertaining.
With elevated ceiling heights, solid-oak herringbone floors and oversize windows framed by terracotta facade detailing, each home offers cinematic views of the surrounding cityscape and waterways.
In this historic landmark, The Woolworth Tower Residences will remain a classic for generations.
2 Park Place, New York, NY 10007
Artist’s renderings by Williams New York | Offering Plan available from the Sponsor. File No. CD14-0062