August 23, 2017
Reviving Beauty: The Woolworth Tower
Long one of the most beloved buildings in the New York City skyline, Frank Woolworth's cathedral of commerce is getting a new lease on life.
by Deborah L. Martin
FROM 1913 TO 1930, the Woolworth Tower, at 60 storeys, was the highest man-made point in the world. The towers that sprouted up around it eventually dwarfed—but never matched—the spectacularly beautiful, handmade ornamentation of the building representing the Woolworth retail empire.
Enter Alchemy Properties, who purchased the iconic building in 2012, and is converting the top floors to luxury apartments. Kenneth Horn, Alchemy Properties' president and founder was recently honored by the Historic District Council for his meticulous restoration of the building, including the restoration or recreation of over 3,500 terra cotta tiles that line the building's exterior. Says Horn, "We knew it was incumbent upon us to treat Woolworth Tower like the icon that it is. We wanted to make sure that the residences reflect the elegance of the building, while bringing it into the 21st century."
Architect Thierry W. Despont created the elegant interior architecture for the residences and amenity spaces, paying homage to architect Cass Gilbert's original neo-gothic design. In June, Alchemy and Sotheby's International Realty revealed the 38th floor model apartments designed by Alan Tanksley and Eve Robinson.
Tanksley created a serene and sensuous three-bedroom, punctuated by modern art, and Robinson designed a two-bedroom contemporary that shares the floor. Says Robinson, "I took my inspiration for the palette from the
terra cotta tiles visible at every window." Stan Ponte, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor of Sotheby's says, "When you enter the residences you have an immediate sense of history. We are selling architectural artwork." When the project is complete there will be up to 33 apartments on the top 30 floors of the tower. The residences will also have luxury amenities such as The Woolworth Pool, an exclusive entertainment salon called The Gilbert Lounge, a fitness center, and a wine cellar and tasting room.
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