233 Broadway (between Park Place and Barclay)
The Woolworth Building was designed by architect Cass Gilbert in the neo-Gothic style to house the F.W. Woolworth Company's corporate headquarters. At the time of its completion in 1913, the 792-foot building was the tallest in the world and boasted 60 stories and over 5,000 windows.
The Woolworth Company began as a single 5-cent store in 1879. The concept expanded to include 10-cent merchandise, and the first "five-and-dime" store grew into 586 stores nationwide. By the late 20th century, most of Woolworth's discount stores were gone: rebranded, shut down, or sold to Walmart. Since 2001, the Woolworth empire is largely limited to its top-performing retailer -- Foot Locker. F.W. Woolworth's granddaughter, socialite/heiress Barbara Hutton (the "Poor Little Rich Girl"), brought notoriety to the Woolworth family through her lavish yet very troubled life.
The building has housed numerous tenants through the years: corporate offices for many retailers, Columbia Records, Fordham and NYU education facilities, a federal probation office. Most recently, developer Alchemy Properties began converting the top 30 floors of the building into 34 condominiums. This month preliminary pricing on the nine-story penthouse was revealed to be a whopping $110 million!