Saturday, February 25, 2012

Woolworth Building

During the time period that this blog covers, 1880-1920, there were seven skyscrapers in New York City that held the distinction as the world's tallest at some point. The Woolworth Building, shown in the picture above around 1913 when it was nearing completion, was the seventh and final building to hold the title during this time period. It did so from its completion in 1913 until 1930, when the nearby 40 Wall Street building (at the time called the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building) surpassed its height to briefly hold the record. Interestingly, the above photo also shows the Park Row Building and the Singer Building, both of which had held the record for the world's tallest skyscraper.

Shown in this night photo from between 1913 and 1920, the Woolworth Building fit in with the skyscraper architecture of the time, having a large base and a relatively narrow tower reaching to the top. The building directly beneath it in the foreground is the City Hall Post Office and Courthouse, which was demolished in 1939 to extend City Hall Park.

Today, the Woolworth Building still looks much the same as it did nearly 100 years ago, and at 792 feet high it remains one of the tallest buildings in the United States. By way of comparison, the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the tallest building in New England, was completed in 1976, and is "only" 790 feet tall. As of 2012, the Woolworth Building is the 16th tallest in New York City and the 44th tallest in the United States.

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