[EPISODE] The Woolworth Building and Rockefeller Center
Join us this week for a special episode, when we will visit two iconic New York landmarks: The Woolworth Building, and Rockefeller Center.
Jeff introduces regular guest David Griffin, as they discuss the Woolworth Building. There were hundreds of Woolworth stores across the country when the company built at the time the world’s tallest building. Woolworth was so profitable that they were able to finance the construction of the building completely with cash. Cass Gilbert, who designed the Woolworth was a very famous and talented architect, who also designed the US Supreme Court. Frank Winfield Woolworth decided to build the skyscraper in order to garner attention for owning such a magnificent and massive building.
David details the time and manpower that it took in order to build the Woolworth Building. The construction process lasted from 1910-1913 and used hundreds of workers. It was the tallest building in the world until 1930, when the Chrysler building was erected. David and Jeff detail the magnificent lobby and interior architecture. If you want to experience this there is a tour which is held by Cass Gilbert’s granddaughter. When it opened the Woolworth had many attractions for the public. Another interesting fact is that the Woolworth was one of the first buildings to have an exterior lighting program, which was revolutionary at the time. The Woolworth was massively influential in the real and fictional architectural world.
Jeff introduces his first guest Phil Desiere. They discuss the origins of the Rockefeller Center. Phil says that the Rockefeller was created by John D. Rockefeller Jr. with the money from his father. He purchased the land originally from Columbia University. His plan with the land fell through after all of his leases fell through as the economy was failing. That’s when he decided to create the Rockefeller Center, it’s own magnificent strip of buildings. Originally, the Rockefeller had 14 buildings and in the present day it has expanded to 19. It was almost not named after the wealthy family, as they didn’t want any major projects directly associated with them.
Jeff and Phi come back by discussing the art of Rockefeller Center. The Man At The Crossroads was a mural that was originally commissioned to be at the Rockefeller. Diego Rivera was commissioned to Rockefeller Jr.’s son, Nelson Rockefeller who became a four term governor of NY. There was a disagreement on the design of the painting and Rivera declined to finish it. There are many pieces of art throughout the Rockefeller Center that have Greek mythology origins.