Title page, The Cathedral of Commerce
The title page of the promotional booklet for the Woolworth Building in New York City. It proudly displays a heraldic design emphasizing 'The highest building in the world'.
This booklet, published in 1918, served as a form of advertisement by the building's owner. Besides being its headquarters, the Woolworth company hoped to attract tenants and customers by showcasing the building's up-to-date amenities and beauty.
The Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, was designed by architect Cass Gilbert (1859 - 1934). It was famous as the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler building came along in 1930. Gilbert used the relatively new form of skyscraper, but embellished it with gothic ornamentation, hence its nickname 'The Cathedral of Commerce'.
Gilbert's work is known to St. Louisans through his designs for the St. Louis Art Museum and the St. Louis Public Library's downtown central library. Today he is probably best known for designing the Supreme Court of the United States building in Washington, DC.