Woolworth Building
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Architect Cass Gilbert
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Location New York, New York   map
Date 1910 to 1913   timeline
Building Type corporate headquarters, early skyscraper
 Construction System terra cotta cladding
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Neo-Gothic
Notes 60 story tower with Gothic ornamentation.
Images

 


Photo, upper portion of the tower

Photo, mid-distant overview

Photo, exterior overview from above
Drawings

 


Elevation Drawing

Elevation Drawing

3D Model
3D Massing Model (DesignWorkshop 3dmf)

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Discussion Woolworth Building Commentary

"Designed to reach the then incredible height of fifty-five stories, it rises just short of 761 feet at the top of the pyramidal spire. As Flagg did, Gilbert has a tower shaft that rises from a supporting block base, but to maximize the expression of height (and to provide associations with other historic tall buildings) Gilbert used Gothic motifs. The piers at the corners of the supporting block and the main tower piers are widened, but nowhere are they stopped by horizontals. At the top the Gothic finials and crockets are vastly overscaled so that they read from the street and provide the proper visual termination to the upward movement. Such an achievement in height, of course, was based on the exploratory work of Jenney, Adler, and Sullivan, but the monumental impulse was much different from that in Chicago."

— Leland M. Roth. A Concise History of American Architecture. p188-9.

Resources
Sources on Woolworth Building

Howard Davis. Slide from photographer's collection. PCD.2260.1012.1702.046

Lawrence A. Martin, University of Oregon. Slides from photographer's collection, September 1993. PCD.3235.1012.0545.044. PCD.3235.1012.0545.051.

John Tauranac. Elegant New York: The Builders and the Buildings 1885-1915. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89659-458-0. LC 85-15728. NA735.N5T38 1985. north elevation, p18. east elevation, p18.

Marcus Whiffen and Frederick Koeper. American Architecture, Volume 1. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984. exterior photo, f214, p266. — An excellent survey of American architecture. Reprint Edition available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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