A Historic Canvas: How Today's Top Designers Were Inspired by The Woolworth Tower


Standing tall and handsome, like a movie star from the golden days of Hollywood, The Woolworth Tower is an indomitable, elegant gentleman of American architecture. Its neo-Gothic figure - drafted by the legendary Cass Gilbert - commands one’s attention from every angle. It is an instant classic. But this Tribeca skyscraper - completed in 1912, and once the tallest building in the world - has undergone a transformation of late, blossoming before our eyes into something even more desirable than it has ever been in its century-long history. Thirty floors of The Woolworth have been expertly refreshed and restored - creating some of the most enviable luxury condominiums in Downtown Manhattan. Here, we meet three of the renowned designers behind the model residences in one of New York’s most iconic buildings.

Alan Tanksley

As many of the previous occupants would tell you, The Woolworth plays a peerless host. Alan Tanksley certainly had this in mind when designing the model unit of the 38th floor. The wet bar in the living room is the work of Clive Christian, and it's all too easy to imagine a barman fixing you a Manhattan as you recline in one of the semicircular sofas, backed by cantilevered shelves. And we can already picture the smoked salmon canapés perched on that Aurélien Gallet bronze console table. The Woolworth has always been a building that exudes luxury at play, and Tanksley clearly relished making his model unit somewhere to entertain the most discerning of guests.

Eve Robinson

There is something about The Woolworth Tower and the color white. Its glazed terracotta panels gleam white against the Manhattan sky. When it was officially inaugurated, the building was illuminated by President Woodrow Wilson, who flipped the switch from the comfort of the White House. It is fitting, then, that so many of Eve Robinson's touches to her model unit of this luxury Tribeca residence reflect that same heavenly hue. From the swish Calacatta Caldia marble counters and backsplashes of the kitchen, to the master suite, with its gleaming deep soak tub and marble slab walls, this is a condo literally bathed in white.

Cheryl Eisen

The long, arched windows of Cheryl Eisen's floor of The Woolworth Tower are possibly its biggest statement. Yes, they let in great beams of light - illuminating everything from the luxuriously curved sofas to the handsome solid-oak herringbone floor. But there's something else: The floral blue and green terracotta window surrounds are a glorious detail of the original building. Elsewhere in this infinitely beguiling condominium, a baby grand piano sits in the corner of the living room, begging for Cole Porter, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra classics to be played on it. A formal dining table yearns to host long, lavish dinners. Oh, one more thing: From the end of that self-same dining room table, you can spy another iconic Manhattan behemoth: the Empire State Building. Credit where it's due. To schedule your tour of these model residences, please contact us. These spaces must be experienced to be believed.