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Joseph Pennell. 1857-1926.

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The Woolworth, Through the Arch. 1921. Etching, sandpaper and drypoint Wuerth 785. 9 15/16 x 6 15/16 (sheet 12 1/4 x 7 5/8). Edition about 150 printed in Germany, numbered 1-150, and 50 printed in the U.S. This from the American printing by Pennell. A rich, tonal impression printed in black-brown ink on countermarked antique laid paper from an old volume. The inking and wiping suggest an early evening glow. Signed and annotated 'imp' in pencil. $775.

The Woolworth Building completed in 1913, stands at a height of 792 feet, 1 inch. Conceived by Frank W. Woolworth, designed by Cass Gilbert and engineered by Gunvald Aus, it was designed and built to be the tallest building in the world.

Early in 1910, F.W. Woolworth decided to erect a building on the southwest corner of Broadway and Park Place. However, it was not the original concept that the building be of such relatively enormous proportions as the Woolworth, Through the Arch was to become. In November, 1910, the building was projected to be 45 stories, or 625 feet, plus a tower of 86 square feet. Its projected cost was $5 million.

F.W. Woolworth would acquire the surrounding lots in the following months, and the building was to become the length of the entire block front. After the caissons were sunk, Woolworth decided that the current plans for the height of the building (already at 750 feet, making it the would-be tallest building) were too meager, and incresed the planned height. Additional caissons were sunk and provisions were made for the change in the height.

The final cost of the building would be $13.5 million, and while it would have 58 stories, its stories are so large (11-20 ft.) that the building is actually considered to be 79 or 80 conventional stories. S

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