For twenty years, the pool on the second cellar level of the Woolworth Building has sat empty and abandoned. Now, that space has been restored to the grandeur with which architect Cass Gilbert and Frank Woolworth originally planned. Untapped Cities got to see the pool when it was in ruins, and now we have a first look at its stunning restoration.
When designing the Woolworth Building in the early 1900s, architect Cass Gilbert and retail magnate Frank Woolworth came up with plans for a Pompeiian pool. The Woolworth Building already had more amenities for tenants than the usual office building at the time, and the luxurious, marble lined pool would have put it over the top. Despite the elaborate designs for the pool, Gilbert and Woolworth’s vision was never fully realized. The pool was built, but the space surrounding it always remained a plain white room without decoration.
The pool before renovations
For decades, the pool was enjoyed by Woolworth tenants, and even became a Jack LaLane Fitness club. In 1999, the pool was drained and closed off to the public. Today, the pool area has been transformed into a modernized version of Gilbert and Woolworth’s vision. It will be enjoyed by the tenants of the Woolworth Building‘s new luxury residences. The pool is lined with Bisazza Mosaico tiles and is enhanced with an adjacent hot tub, sauna, and changing rooms.
As in all of the spaces of the new Woolworth Residences, the architecture and aesthetic of the landmarked building is respected while making the spaces comfortable for modern living. The designers even consulted Gilbert’s original designs while working on the pool renovation. The Pompeiian design Gilbert originally envisioned is paid homage to in the rustic wallpaper with twisting vines, birds and statuesque figures and the lights are reminiscent of early 20th-century styles. The undulating light fixture that illuminates the pool from above is a modern addition.
The newly restored pool is just one of the many amenities residents of the Woolworth apartments can enjoy. There is also a fitness center, the Gilbert Lounge, a private entrance with a ceiling pulled from Frank Woolworth’s private office, and a wine storage area with a wine tasting room. These amenity spaces were recently completed and just unveiled along with one of the two pavilion apartments, a construction additions to the base of the historic building which are the market for $29 million and $18 million.
Next, check out Top 10 Secrets of the Woolworth Building in NYC