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This post includes information on how to visit the Woolthworth Building, a true gem in New York City. As a private residential building, you must take a tour to see its famous lobby and lower level. It is worth it though. See below for information on booking a tour.
In 1913, New York City watched as the 57 floors of the newly built Woolworth Building were lit up by electric lights. A special switch was thrown by President Woodrow Wilson in Washington DC to light up the recently completed “tallest building in the world.” This Neo-Gothic skyscraper was designed by Cass Gilbert for F.W. Woolworth and his 5 and Dime company.
Before Woolworth opened his chain of stores, merchandise was kept behind a store’s counter. Customers gave the clerk a list of the items they wanted, and only after they had paid did they get to handle the items they had purchased.
F.W. Woolworth had the notion that items could be placed on shelves throughout the store, and that customers should be able to handle things that they were considering buying.
People evidently liked his idea, because he grew his company into the very successful international F.W. Woolworth Company. Many people copied Woolworth’s concept, and 5 and Dime Stores became fixtures in downtown areas across America.
Where Exactly is the Woolworth Building in New York City
The Woolworth Building is located at 233 Broadway (between Park Place and Barclay Street) in the northern part of New York’s Financial District. It’s located nearby the World Trade Center Site, City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. Due to its convenient location, you can reach the Woolworth Building from many subway stations and lines (see map below). We recommend clicking this link for directions to the Woolworth Building from anywhere in NYC.
Click the map to enlarge
F.W. Woolworth commissioned a spectacular skyscraper in Lower Manhattan to serve as the company’s headquarters. The Woolworth Building, nicknamed “The Cathedral of Commerce,” is considered one of the most beautiful skyscrapers in the city.
Tours are offered in three different time increments: 30 Minute, 60 Minute and 90 Minute Tours. The 30 Minute Tour is more of a brief overview, while the 60 and 90 Minute Tours provide a more in-depth experience. You can choose the tour that is right for you based on your schedule and interests.
Tours are offered most days of the week, excluding Mondays and Tuesdays. Not all tour options are available on all days. Visit www.woolworthtours.com to see when your preferred tour is offered.
Prices as of 2019:
Some Things To Know
Some Quick Facts About The Woolworth Building