New York City's Woolworth Building Offers Private Tours

With New York City experiencing somewhat of a cold snap for summer (weren't we just melting in a heat wave?), the Wall Street Journal has noted a fun indoor activity for families touring the Big Apple. 

In downtown Manhattan, the iconic Woolworth Building is offering small-group tours of its historic lobby organized by Helen Post Curry, the great-granddaughter of the building's architect, Cass Gilbert. (Curry herself is owner of Connecticut design-and-event-management firm Look.) The building celebrated its 100th Anniversary in April, and Curry organized celebrations at the time. Fun Trivia: The building's lobby has officially been closed since World War II, and only accessible with (rarely granted) permission by the management company. 

So what can curious visitors see on the tour? According to the Journal: "A three-story glass ceiling lights up a staircase that once led to Irving Bank, an original tenant of the building. Murals representing labor and commerce are painted on the sides of a first-floor mezzanine."

Bookings for 15-, 45- or 90-minute tours are available at woolworthtours.com. Curry told the paper that groups are limited in terms of size and that preregistration is required to avoid "tour buses unloading 40 people at a time on Broadway." 

Good to know: Curry, as an event planner, can arrange customized private tours that can last longer and include more in-depth discussion and more photo opportunities, or even organizing a tour that includes other buildings downtown designed by Cass Gilbert and that include expanded historical perspectives of the development of lower Manhattan in the early 1900s.

Photo courtesy woolworthtours.com.

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