For over a decade, GMS has served as the Woolworth Building‘s structural engineer. Presently, the upper portion of this landmark (30th Floor-60th Floor) is being converted to residential apartments designed by Thierry Despont. The structural design accommodates two new high rise elevators from the subcellar to 51st Floor, new floor openings, new/reinforced framing, new stair structures between 30th and 53rd Floor. GMS is also engineering new framing for two new penthouses at the 30th Floor, and a new canopy structure at the ground floor. Additional structural work has involved refurbishing the building’s lower levels for restaurants, health club, retail and educational space, as well as renovations of the intermediate levels for office tenants.

The Woolworth Building’s Spires

The Woolworth Building’s spires today (left) and in 1932 (right)
(Tony Hisgett/Flickr and LeslieJones/Boston Public Library/Flickr)

Architect’s Newspaper: Nine-Story Woolworth Building Penthouse To Be Listed for $110 Million (excerpts)

At this point, the record breaking sales of luxury apartments in Midtown are not really news. As the towers rise higher, so do the prices. This has been the trend for quite some time and it shows no signs of slowing down. With that said, did you hear about the one Downtown? Bloomberg reported that the nine-story penthouse at Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building is expected to be listed for $110 million. The top 30 floors of the tower are currently being converted into luxury apartments, but the penthouse is quite literally Woolworth’s crown jewel—and it is priced as such.

Obviously, the Woolworth penthouse is exceedingly expensive, but the space is about more than its nine-floors, 8,975-square-feet of living space, 584-square-foot terrace, and its views from some  50 stories up. The unit is about living inside the Woolworth’s iconic copper cupola. According to Bloomberg, “a great room and wine cellar make up the 53rd floor, and the 55th through 58th levels in the cupola include a library or media room and an observation deck at the top, the plan shows.”

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The Woolworth Penthouse

The Woolworth Penthouse (FlICKR / Massmatt)


Architect’s Newspaper: Domesticating the Cathedral of Commerce with Luxe Condos (excerpt)

The Cass Gilbert-designed Woolworth, dubbed the “Cathedral of Commerce,” held the world’s tallest designation at 792 feet for a whopping 17 years from 1913 to 1930 when the Chrysler Building took the reigns, and it still holds its own on skyline of Lower Manhattan. The New York Times reports that the first new condos will begin at 350 feet above Broadway and a five-story penthouse in the building’s copper-clad crown—once a public observation area—will bring new meaning to majestic living. But then again, the only downside of living in the Woolworth Building might be not having a view of the Woolworth Building.

With 40 units distributed over 30 floors, the project may not be increasing the city’s density by any appreciable level considering a single luxury residence could hold quite a few micro-apartments currently in discussion for Manhattan’s east side. (In fact, AN has estimated that in the same 30 floors, one could likely fit over 600 efficient 250-square foot micro-apartments.) Telescoping floors range in size from 8,000 to 3,500 square feet as the tower rises, but the height won’t be the only soaring aspect of the building. According to the Times, unit prices will top $2,000 per square foot, up from a neighborhood average of $1,250 per foot last quarter.

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The Woolworth Building’s Crown

The Woolworth Building’s crown through the clouds in the early 20th century
(Leslie Jones/Boston Public Library/Flickr)