Inside The Woolworth Tower Residences: The 21st Century Evolution of an Iconic NY Landmark

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Fewer and fewer people living today remember the classic five-and-dime store. It predated Walmart, Kmart, and Costco, and for 118 years, from 1879 to 1997, the F. W. Woolworth Company dominated this landscape. Woolworths was where people bought inexpensive items, such as soaps, candy, and novelties, for about a nickel or a dime until 1930. In 1930, the top price was raised to a shocking 20 cents.

 Woolworth Building

Woolworth Building

By the time Frank Winfield Woolworth was ready to build his corporate headquarters on 233 Broadway in New York, he controlled nearly 600 five-and-dime stores. He wanted his headquarters to be an elegant statement that would enhance his company’s reputation. And he got what he paid for, as the building, upon completion, was dubbed The Cathedral of Commerce. There were reasons for this: It was built in the neo-Gothic style, and looked very much like a cathedral. Ironically, the Woolworth Building outlived the Woolworth Company.

Woolworth Building

Woolworth’s, 1960, historic image

The building is still an iconic silhouette on the Manhattan skyline, but it has now evolved into something new. The Woolworth Building will soon be home to 33 residences, spanning the 29th to 58th floors. While all the units are slated for completion in Fall 2017, Alchemy Properties, one of New York City’s leading real estate development and investment firms, recently revealed two model homes, 38A and 38B, that comprise the whole 38th floor of The Woolworth Tower Residences, with a private entrance at 2 Park Place.

Woolworth Building

Model Residence Living Area, 38A

Model residence 38A, a 3,282-square-foot, three-bedroom was conceptualized by Manhattan-based interior designer Alan Tanksley. Inspired by Woolworth’s historic architecture, he used rich tones, offset by modern art, including works by Sarah Anne Johnson and Arne Svenson.

Woolworth Building

38A Kitchen

Alan Tanksley well understood the task of combining the early 20th century history with 21st century interior design, as he comments: “The trademark of The Woolworth Building is its extraordinary design and supreme craftsmanship. With that in mind, we paid microscopic attention to details and used the highest level of custom finishes, furnishings, and carpets at our disposal to be worthy of this iconic building.”

Woolworth Building

38A Master Bedroom

Tanksley created a bespoke environment, enhanced by custom carpets by Martin Patrick Evan, hand-printed wall coverings by Fromental, and custom designed upholstery in collaboration with DUNE furniture. Special millwork was accomplished by the English company, Clive Christian Interiors. Three-bedroom homes at the Woolworth Tower Residences start at $9,575,000.

Model residence 38B is a 2,548-square-foot, two-bedroom home. Its design was conceived by Manhattan-based interior designer Eve Robinson, known for her regular participation in the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club Decorator Show House.

“The new interiors of the model apartment reflect the elegance and sophistication of the original building and elevate them to a modern, fresh 21st century design,” Robinson says. “We carefully curated a mix of important vintage and contemporary furnishings and created a space that is not only forward thinking, but also timeless. The colors from the sculptural terracotta ornament on the exterior of the window jambs served as inspiration for the interior palette in the apartment.”

Woolworth Building

Model Residence 38B Living/Dining Area

The brightly colored terracotta window surrounds inspired her to pair golds, teals, and purples throughout the home with decorative wallpapers by Trove, Philip Jeffries, and Alpha Workshops to reflect and enhance the natural light. Works of art by Jessy Cho, Curtis Jere, and Eric Piasecki, among others, are shown throughout the residence. Two-bedroom homes at The Woolworth Tower Residences start at $7,250,000.

Woolworth Building

Master bedroom, 38B

These modern, historic, and timeless residences offer a reflective combination of 20th century architectural history and 21st century interior design. Alan Tanksley and Eve Robinson understood how the past informs the present, and depicted historic balance through their unique design language and artistic vision.

Woolworth Building

Second Bedroom 38B

These modern, historic, and timeless residences offer a reflective combination of 20th century architectural history and 21st century interior design. Alan Tanksley and Eve Robinson understood how the past informs the present, and depicted historic balance through their unique design language and artistic vision.

woolworth building

Images courtesy of Travis Mark

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