Woolworth Building

I’m a great movie buff, and a great lover of Manhattan architecture.

In the Hollywood classic Winner Take All, James Cagney’s character sends his beloved a postcard from New York featuring The Woolworth Building. Years later in Disney’s Enchanted, the film’s climactic scene takes place inside the Woolworth. In 2016’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, the U.S. magical government calls the Woolworth Building home.

It’s not hard to understand Hollywood’s obsession with the Woolworth Building. More than 100 years after it was constructed, this National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark remains one of the tallest in the U.S. and an iconic sight in the Manhattan skyline. Not hard to imagine considering that was the intention all along when it was built.

In 1910, Frank Woolworth, founder of F. W. Woolworth Company, commissioned architect Cass Gilbert to construct a new headquarters for his company that rose 20 stories into the sky. Gilbert was something of a skyscraper pioneer, though his work spanned all kinds of iconic structures, including the support towers of the George Washington Bridge, the Minnesota State Capitol building, and the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

While the original plan called for the building to rise 420 feet, it eventually topped out at 792 feet. With a full construction cost of $13.5 million, the 60-story skyscraper opened in 1914 and was the tallest building in the world until 1930. The iconic exterior boasted limestone-colored terra-cotta panels. Strong piers provided support, interrupted only by artistic cornices that lead all the way up to the triangular cap. The Gothic details interlaced throughout were made to be big enough that they could be noticed and appreciated from the street below.

Inside, the ornate lobby was covered in marble and featured a vaulted ceiling, stained-glass ceiling lights, and bronze fittings throughout. Two murals, dubbed Labor and Commerce, rise above the mezzanine balconies. There are also sculptures of the building’s creators and benefactors throughout, from Gilbert standing next to a model, Woolworth counting nickels, and engineer Gunvald Aus taking measurements.

Dubbed “The Cathedral of Commerce” because if its resemblance to  European Gothic churches, the Woolworth Building also came to be associated with education over the years. Fordham University once called it home while the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Center for Global Affairs also set up classes inside.

Here’s a gallery of some of the most expressive photos of Woolworth Building posted by Pinterest users:

 

New York City was literally built up around it and the Woolworth company remained its owner for 85 years until 1998, when Venator Group, Woolworth’s corporate heir, sold it for $155 million to the Witkoff Group. Coincidentally, Venator Group would eventually become Foot Locker, Inc. and a Foot Locker store remained in the building until recently.

In 2012, New York developer Alchemy Properties led an investment group that purchased the top 30 floors of the building for $68 million. Their plan called for a sweeping renovation to turn it in a collection of luxury condominiums, including a five-level penthouse. The plan was approved in 2014 and the 33 condos inside Woolworth Tower Residences hit the market in 2017. When the penthouse unit, which resides inside the entire terra cotta crown up top, listed for $110 million, it was the most expensive residential listing in NYC history. If it ends up selling anywhere close to that, it will be the priciest sale in city history as well.

Architect and designer Thierry Despont, known for his work on the Centennial restoration of the Statue of Liberty, as well as the Carlyle Hotel, and Bill Gates’ personal residence, was hired to design the Woolworth Tower Residences and its amenities. However, it should be noted that some units also received attention from notable designers such as Alan Tanksley and Eve Robinson. While units vary on specifics, you’re bound to find a balance between the timeless, historical aspect of the building’s origins and the contemporary world that it now exists within.

Each unit is centered around the Great Room, which is sizable enough to live up to its name. High ceilings and oversized windows framed by that terra cotta facade provide that extra space and fill it with brightness and views of the surrounding skyline.

Kitchens are designed to remain bright and classic thanks to sparkling marble countertops and backsplashes. Custom Dada cabinetry solid oak floors, and a collection of Miele appliances complete the experience. Depending on the residence, some kitchens have open flow directly into the dining area or entertainment space.

Never underestimate the value of a luxury bath and Woolworth Tower Residences do not disappoint here. Radiant heated floors, custom cabinetry, and gorgeous white marble with black marble trim take things up a notch. Select residences also include steam showers and free-standing tubs for that added special comfort.

And of course, you can’t consider the residences here without considering the views that come with each. To the north, you watch New York City sprawl beyond the Empire State Building and Times Square. To the east, clear views of the Brooklyn Bridge and everything beyond. To the west, the Hudson River flows by. To the south, St. Peter’s, One World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty beckon.

A few days ago I stopped by Woolworth, and took a few photos of its fabled residential interiors. It’s my great pleasure to share them with you, dear reader:

And these are some of the best photos of Woolworth Tower Residences interiors from Pinterest community:

 

With a building as storied as this and condominiums as luxurious as these, the amenities have a lot to live up. Of course, they do that and more. The experience begins when you enter the residential lobby at 2 Park Place that features a 24-hour doorman and full-time concierge. You’ll be enthralled by the restored ceiling that was originally located in Frank W. Woolworth’s private office. You’ll be so enamored you might miss the marble floors, maple-panel walls, and a custom wood concierge desk. To go home, enter the glass and bronze elevators that move at high-speed exclusively for building residents.

Need to work up a sweat? The state-of-the-art fitness center features brand-new cardio equipment and weights. Enjoy your workout with open views to the north and east on the 30th floor, whether you’ve invited a private trainer with you or not. Of course, you can always opt to do some laps in the fifty-foot pool instead. This classic pool area was redesigned by Despont and has since been upgraded to include a sauna, hot tub, and changing rooms.

Looking to unwind without leaving the building? Make for the Gilbert Lounge. This social space comes complete with a billiards table, gaming table, catering pantry, TV and more. Spend time here with your neighbors or just stop by to see who is lounging about.

Life here wouldn’t be complete with some wine, would it? The good news is that each residence comes with its own private wine storage and there’s even a tasting room you can stop and sip in. Share the vino with friends or spend some quality time with loved ones over a shared bottle.

A few photos and renderings of amenities at Woolworth Tower Residences, from Pinterest:

 

Part of what makes Woolworth Tower Residences so appealing is its location. Not only does it drop you in the heart of Tribeca but it also gives you easy access to one of the hottest areas in Manhattan: The New Downtown. The building may be a classic but the neighborhood is a modern marvel of excitement, culture, and commerce.

Want to live among industry leaders? Condé Nast, Time Inc, Dow Jones, HarperCollins all call this region their headquarters. There are hundreds of other tech companies and creative firms that keep the energy high and attract plenty of exciting eateries and shops.

You won’t go hungry living here. Not only are food meccas such as Eataly, Le District, and Hudson Eats just steps away, but some of the top chefs in the world are setting up new restaurants here as well, including Tom Colicchio, David Chang, and Nobu Matsuhisa.

If luxury shopping is your game, you’ll get to play it without having to go far from home. Saks Fifth Avenue, Gucci, Tiffany, Burberry, Apple, and many others are nearby.

Even if you do want to leave the area and explore the city, that couldn’t be easier. The Santiago Calatrava designed Oculus transportation hub is just two blocks south of the building. That gives you direct access to various subway lines and bus routes as well as the PATH train, ferries, and bike and pedestrian promenades. It might not be in the center of the city, but Woolworth Tower Residences might just be the epicenter from which everything is available to those who live here.

There are currently eight model residences available for sale that span size and price points. The least expensive unit on the market is a 1,2,94 square-foot, one-bedroom on the 44th floor asking $3,875,000. Meanwhile, on the 46th floor, you’ll find a 2,425 square-foot, two-bedroom unit for $9,000,000. If you need the space, there’s also a 5,991 square-foot, four-bedroom on the 31st floor that includes a 632 square-foot patio space asking $26,400,000.

Please take a look at these floorplans from Pinterest:

 

And then, the climax of our today’s presentation – the floorplans for the Pinnacle Penthouse at the top of Woolworth:

 

I’m planning to visit the Pinnacle Penthouse within the next couple of weeks, and expect to be able to post a few photos from that visit, so please come back here sometime in May, and I hope you enjoy the update.

And just to vet your appetite, here’s a few shots of the interiors of Woolworth Building itself, from Pinterest:

 

Makes a statement, doesn’t it? Interested in acquiring properties in this iconic Manhattan building? We can make it possible! For more information, please contact me, Elliot Bogod of Broadway Realty, via email ebodog@broadwayrealty.com or phone: (212) 577-2270