"The Mozart of Skyscrapers": A Critical Consensus


In today’s market, most luxury Tribeca residences offer the sought-after amenities, bold design, and inspiring views that modern buyers have come to expect. But few, if any, can claim to compete with the historical significance and architectural splendor of The Woolworth Tower Residences And while the Tribeca condos for sale in this Manhattan landmark certainly have the comforts and conveniences, including a fitness center, a wine tasting room, and a pool, what makes this opportunity unique is the chance to own a piece of history; which is rare in today’s market.

The Woolworth Building, as it’s widely known, holds many stories. Opened in 1913, it was, for the better part of two decades, the tallest building in the world. But, more significantly, it began a new era in the history of New York City — that of the skyscraper. At a time when church steeples defined the skyline, The Woolworth Building truly reshaped the city. The Landmarks Preservation Commission, in their 1983 Designation, wrote that “Cass Gilbert’s graceful, Gothic-style, terra-cotta clad, 60-story tower became the prototype for the tall romantic skyscraper that permanently transformed the skyline of New York and become [sic] the most potent image of twentieth-century urban America.” The architectural significance of the building’s design cannot be overstated.

Paul Goldberger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic for both The New Yorker and The New York Times and current editor at Vanity Fair, famously dubbed The Woolworth Building as “the Mozart of skyscrapers.” He first wrote those words in 1979 and stood by them in 2013 at the Woolworth Building Centennial. While the tower’s height may have been its initial claim to fame, the building retains its iconic status because of its design. Goldberg, at the Centennial, went on to say that what makes the building extraordinary is “its seemingly effortless lyricism. It is complex, but all that complexity is rendered into something that seems absolutely natural and easy and full of grace, and you have a sense of great depth coexisting with great pleasure.” No doubt, the building is full of magnificent period details, from the terra-cotta flourishes around the windows to the grand marble staircases and mosaics in the lobbies. While the building was nicknamed “the Cathedral of Commerce” for its church-like touches, it was more than just a place to do business. It was a place to truly enjoy doing business.

In particular, Goldberger noted that “Gilbert managed to simultaneously look backward at Gothic architecture and forward toward modernity.” With this approach in mind, the team at Alchemy Properties crafted residences that preserve the spirit of the original classic building while simultaneously incorporating modern touches that, as Architectural Digest recently wrote, “combine old-school charm and prewar layouts with cutting-edge innovation.”
One of the most striking features has always been the terra-cotta that provides a deep frame for each window Alchemy Properties restored both the terra-cotta window surrounds and façade. The effort provided a detailed look at the painstaking, century-old handiwork of master craftspeople, and it resulted in something much closer to artwork than decor.

The Woolworth Tower Residences represents a genuinely rare opportunity in today’s world: the chance to participate in (and live inside) a part of a great city’s history — in short, to become a part of something timeless. Contact us today to learn more about The Woolworth Tower Residences.