Completed in 1913, the Woolworth Building was the tallest building in the world until 1930. It is an official NYC Landmark, U.S. National Historic Landmark, and is included on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The upper 29 floors, originally offices, were purchased by Alchemy Properties in 2012 to be converted to luxury condominiums. Alchemy’s primary goal was to retain the building’s historic fabric and carry its elegance into the new, modern residential spaces.
The building was completely gutted prior to remodeling, but original elements were preserved, such as gilded ceiling panels, and other iconic elements replicated, like its unique terra cotta flowers. The building and its systems had to be separated between the lower office floors and the upper residential floors. This required all new infrastructure to be designed and coordinated from the points of entry in the basement levels, through office floors that remain occupied, to the residential floors.
As a landmark building, all systems were mandated to be completely out of sight. Nothing can visually impact the interior or exterior architectural integrity of the structure, which posed unique challenges. New electrical and mechanical rooms had to be created, as did outside recessed areas that hid equipment such as the cooling towers and emergency generator. New louvers were hidden in sections of the building’s iconic spires to exhaust and draw in fresh air, all hidden from view.