View Poll Results: How do you rate the Woolworth Building?

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  • 10

    26 60.47%
  • 9

    8 18.60%
  • 8

    5 11.63%
  • 7

    2 4.65%
  • 6

    0 0%
  • 5

    0 0%
  • 4

    1 2.33%
  • 3

    0 0%
  • 2

    1 2.33%
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Thread: Woolworth Building

  1. #16

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    10, of course - She's the essence of Gothic, and a perfect illustration of why Gothic is the best historical for skyscrapers outside of Art Deco - Gothic and skyscrapers are both about height, and she does soar beautifully. And all of that wonderful detail!

    The next time I'm in New York, I want to get a much better look...

    It is a terrible shame, Gulcrapek, that today we don't have the craftsmen or the developers willing to pay extra for their work. I think the same thing applies to Art Deco... I'd have to say that modernism, with its contempt for decoration, also probably had something to do with this sad state of affairs...

  2. #17

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    Liz L. The craftsmen have nothing to do with why you can't build one of these types of buildings.

    You have to remember, when these buildings were built, their raw materials were manufactured by union-busting monopolists, who employed 8-year old kids to mine granite and aesbestos, their steel workers were day-laborers, who were without benefits and, by and large, everoyone who worked on the project was paid a fraction of what was rightfully due.

    All of this was possible before the FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1938.

    http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/history/flsa1938.htm

  3. #18

  4. #19

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    At one time, the costliest component of producing a product was the raw material, the cheapest was the labor. That situation has gradually reversed.

    While some may decry that it is no longer economically feasible to build buildings like the Woolworth, that reversal resulted in the disposable-income society we have today, able to afford computers and access nice pictures of the Woolworth. :wink:

  5. #20
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Default

    I think it is one of the most impressive churches in town!!!!


  6. #21

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    10- The perfect example of gothic architecture. This wasn't one of the buildings that was messed around with in the 1960's and 70's right.

  7. #22

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    Does the Woolworth have the same tile fireproofing system that saved 90 West?

    I have read that Cass Gilbert used 90 West to test several features later included in the Woolworth.

    Several million dollars of the Liberty Bond money will be well spent restoring and replicating the architectural detail of 90 West, far more than the cost of the original work.

    The Verizon building required similar work, employing skilled artisans at wages far above the original.

    http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=868
    http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=1128

  8. #23
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    BPC, any word on when the facade will be de-bannered?

  9. #24
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    The verizon building was kind of imposing, gothic and threatening. I never really liked it.

    I know that some were made to be impressive, but it just looked depressing!

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulcrapek
    BPC, any word on when the facade will be de-bannered?
    According to the Broadsheet, the white fabric and scaffolding will come down "early in 2004." I hope the building's exterior lighting will return soon as well. Pre 9/11, being able to see the magnificent upper facade lit up while walking the neighborhood at night was one of the best things about living in BPC. When the building was first listed as unsalvageable in the months after 9/11, it just about broke my heart.

  11. #26

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    Good points, JMC and Zippy, though very sad to realize...

    Still, I wonder, how many craftsmen around today can do the same sort of beautiful, detailed work in terra cotta, bronze, stone, etc. - especially since for several decades modernist architects, with their contempt for ornament, would not have provided much chance for such craftsmen to get jobs on their big projects?

    Now I would assume that in this case, skills that don't provide jobs tend not to attract new craftsmen, except, perhaps, for a few who might help with the preservation & rennovation of historic buildings.

    Any comments from someone who might have facts that are more solid than my guesses?

  12. #27

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    There are similar craftsmen who are working today on St. Johns the Divine.

  13. #28
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    They're actually working? I thought they were short on funds again. Please let it be true...

  14. #29

    Default Awe

    Awe

    10+. The Woolworth Building is inspirational and evokes awe. Solid, heavy and meticulously detailed. This is what they wanted and they accomplished their goal. I recall at about 13 years old walking with my parents in that area and seeing the demolition of the Singer Tower (destroyed 1968), another Cathedral like building on Broadway. In those days they did not box in the construction areas, it was open to the street. I recall the ball smashing the building and all the beautiful detail just crashed to the ground. I even attempted to retrieve pieces – but I was stopped by a policeman. When I am in the area I still think –What was their thinking back then
    .
    I look at modern buildings and I understand the goals are different. I see sleek, shiny and fast. I am impressed by some of it, but the inspiration is different.

  15. #30

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    Will the contrarians who gave it a 2 and a 4 please speak up?

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