The Skyscraper Museum
Go through City Hall Park and step onto the Brooklyn Bridge or walk down Broadway to Battery Park.
THE WOOLWORTH BUILDING was dubbed the Cathedral of Commerce by NYC newspapers when first built. The neo-Gothic Woolworth Building was conceived by F.W. Woolworth and his architect, CASS GILBERT, and cost $13,500,000 to build. It was to be the "world's tallest building" and remained so from 1913 until the 1930 completion of the Chrysler Building. In this day and age, it’s difficult to believe that a 60 story structure (792 feet tall) was once the tallest skyscraper in the world. The tallest building in Manhattan, before the Woolworth Building’s construction, was the 50-story Metropolitan Life Insurance Building (Madison Avenue & 24th Street). On the day of the Woolworth Building’s opening, President Woodrow Wilson pushed a button at the White House which turned on the building’s 80,000 lights. The Woolworth tower is of cream-colored terra cotta and the lobby has amazingly colorful vaulted mosaic-covered ceilings (unfortunately since 9/11 the lobby is closed to tourists for security reasons). There are gargoyles of bats and wildlife and in the lobby are sculpted caricatures of Woolworth, Cass Gilbert and Louis Horowitz – its builder. The basement has an Olympic-sized swimming pool once used by Mr. Woolworth. City Hall Park and City Hall are across the street.