Our trip to downtown Manhattan fulfilled my longstanding wish to see the Woolworth Building up close in person. Although I work only a few blocks away from the building I have never had the opportunity to go visit it in person. One of America’s first early skyscrapers, the Woolworth building stands amongst other terracotta tiled buildings in the midst of the tourist infested downtown Manhattan. The building’s neo-Gothic style and brilliantly decorated exterior gives off a cathedral-like vibe that, in my opinion, no photograph that I have seen was able to capture. I learned that the pyramid top on the tower is actually made of copper that changed its’ color to the bright pastel green from 100 years of exposure to the elements. Since I have only seen this building in pictures and movies, I also did not know that the H-shaped building was braced at the back with steel beams.
I also found myself caught off guard when I realized that I was staring at Frank Gehry’s Spruce street building and did not recognize it. Perhaps it was because of the overcast sky and the lack of sunlight that caused the otherwise visually dynamic building to look meek and flat, or maybe it is only meant to be viewed from across the river, whatever the reason, I was a little shocked to find myself standing so close to it without being able to identify it.