NK tours the Woolworth Building

Once the tallest building in the world, The Woolworth Building is a spectacular example ofneo-gothic revival architecture that set the groundwork for skyscraper development in Manhattan.  Located at the corner of Broadway and Park Place and completed in 1913, it is 792’ tall and 60 stories above the bustling financial district. Millionaire Frank Woolworth, in competition with the Met Life Towers and the Singer Building, wanted to house his five-and-dime headquarters in the tallest building in the world. He financed the construction in cash and commissioned architect Cass Gilbert to push the limits of steel frame construction. The Woolworth Building has continued to be iconic to the New York City skyline and serves as a paragon of progressivism and innovation through architecture, design, and craft.

The Woolworth Building is home to NK’s NYC Office.

The top 30 floors of the building are currently being converted into residential space, while the bottom half along with the famous Broadway lobby remains commercial. NK’s New York staff was invited on a tour of the 40th and 50-58th floors to see the construction process, 100-year-old+ exposed steel, and the design challenges that face some of the industry’s top professionals. The renovation has posed an intricate set of obstacles from transfer of ownership, landmarks, to converting the space to a new use while maintaining the architectural integrity. The desire to maintain the original ceiling and window height in the new residences will be difficult with the addition of new MEP systems, as the building was not built for the mechanical systems used today. From a contractor’s perspective, the limited shaft size is difficult in facilitating construction and the moving of materials in a timely manner. The project is moving forward and exciting potential buyers in the near future.

 The exploring begins!

The exploring begins!

 Yes, we all fit in the elevator.

Yes, we all fit in the elevator.

 Original glazed terracotta on the 41st floor

Original glazed terracotta on the 41st floor

 Looking down at the penthouse unit from the 57th floor.

Looking down at the penthouse unit from the 57th floor.

 NK Founding Partner Allen Kopelson looks up at the windows on the 58th floor that will eventually be uncovered to show some of the best views in Manhattan.

NK Founding Partner Allen Kopelson looks up at the windows on the 58th floor that will eventually be uncovered to show some of the best views in Manhattan.

Our office felt honored to have been exposed to this rare sight, and with a big help from our friends at CNY Group, we are thankful for the opportunity.

 (Sorry about the lobby, Woolworth)

(Sorry about the lobby, Woolworth)

For more information on NK Architects' tour of the Woolworth, please contact Sadie Wegner in our NYC Office.