Although Woolworth’s department stores are no longer around, there’s one location that’s a living reminder of this five-and-dime’s legacy. Standing opposite City Hall Park, the Woolworth Building was commissioned by Frank W. Woolworth as the sight of his chain’s headquarters—and as a visual branding tool of the time. Opened in April 1913, it was the tallest skyscraper in the world for 17 years. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, this neo-Gothic building’s silhouette draws upon the medieval belfries and city halls that Woolworth saw on a trip to Belgium, with motifs drawn from French and English cathedrals. The building is privately owned, but tours of its stunning interior are available.
It’s easy to pass by the most beautiful NYC buildings without a second thought, but many of them are worth more than a quick glance–especially once you know the stories behind the most interesting building names in NYC. From skyscrapers to residential complexes, many of these modern marvels have names linked to peculiar backstories or reflect another era of city living, just like the most interesting street names and interesting neighborhood names do. Some have gone on to be given second lives while holding onto their original look. It’s time to educate yourself on the noteworthy locations that are perhaps the most interesting buildings in NYC.
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