April 24, 2013
WOOLWORTH BUILDING OPENED 100 YEARS AGO TODAY
New York City (JFK+50) 100 years ago today, April 24, 1913, the F. W. Woolworth* Building opened in Manhattan with President Woodrow Wilson pushing a button at the White House which lit up the interior and exterior of the world's tallest building.
New York City, NY (1913)
Pictorial News Company
Library of Congress Image
The 792 foot, 57 story structure was designed by Cass Gilbert in Gothic style.
During the opening ceremony, Rev. S. Parkes Cadman called it the "Cathedral of Commerce."
The building's lobby is covered in marble and has a vaulted ceiling with a stained glass skylight.
Woolworth Building Lobby
The original cost was $13.5 million.
Gail Fenske, author of "The Skyscraper and the City," told TIME magazine...
"Woolworth wanted a building that looked like VICTORIA TOWER in London. He (wanted) to produce something that was very showy, something that captured people's attention."**
New York City
*Frank Winfield Woolworth (1852-1919) was born in Rodman, New York. He attended business college in Watertown and then opened his 1st 5 cent store it Utica. After it failed, he opened 5 and 10 cent stores which became so popular that by 1911 there were 586 of them. At the time of his death, Mr. Woolworth had amassed a fortune of $6.5 million.
**"Manhattan Fantasy: the Woolworth Building at 100," by Richard Conway, www.nation.time.com
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