1913: The Woolworth Building Opened in New York

1913: The Woolworth Building Opened in New York
Photo Credit To cliquenovayork.blogspot.com

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 24 April 1913
  • The Woolworth Building was something akin to a wonder of the world. In fact, it was almost twice taller than the great cathedrals of Europe during the Middle Ages. It was even called “The Cathedral of Commerce”.

The tallest building in the world, the Woolworth Building, was opened in New York on this day in 1913. This building was the tallest skyscraper in the world from 1913 to 1930 (height of 241 meters).

Today, the Woolworth Building is over 100 years old, and is known as the national monument of the United States. Frank Winfield Woolworth, the rich founder of the retail chain with stores where commodities were sold for 5 and 10 cents (a sort of self-service), built the building.

It was designed by the famous architect Cass Gilbert, one of the early proponents of skyscraper building. Similar to Gothic cathedrals, it was a neo-Gothic cathedral with a lot of pointy elements and specific decorations on the facades.

The Woolworth Building was even called “The Cathedral of Commerce” (because the trader Frank Winfield Woolworth was its owner).

It is interesting that the building was opened when the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire still existed.

The Woolworth Building was being built when the Titanic disaster occurred. The Titanic`s dimensions were similar to dimensions of the building (the ship was 269 meters long, similar to the Woolworth Building including its foundations).

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