The Five-Cent Legacy


The Woolworth Building is esteemed for its grand architecture, but few know its origins. The F.W. Woolworth Company’s founder and the visionary behind “Five-and-Dimes,” Frank Winfield Woolworth, came from humble beginnings, and the Tribeca building that now houses thirty-two luxury condos was designed both as a headquarters for his company and a “signboard” for its greatness.

Woolworth began his career as a counter clerk in a small store pioneering a new retail concept of prepriced goods. This innovation sped up sales and cut costs. Convinced that the concept would work for a whole store, he took out a $300 loan, opened a single shop, and, within three decades, grew his empire to more than three hundred five-and-dime stores.

In need of a bigger headquarters, he acquired premier land on Broadway near City Hall Park and the Post Office and set about retaining architect Cass Gilbert. At their first meeting in 1910, Gilbert drew a few sketches and impressed Woolworth with his forward style. Woolworth quickly retained Gilbert, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Just as Woolworth and Gilbert’s masterpiece intrigued the public of the early 20thcentury, The Office of Thierry W. Despont’s reinvention of Gilbert’s original design is a centerpiece of the new century. The luxury Downtown Manhattan homes at The Woolworth Tower Residences place you within the walls of a storied history: one that continues to inspire. Step inside this beautiful building and imagine yourself at home in this iconic tower.