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A Rare Glimpse Inside as the Woolworth Building Turns 100

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[All photos by Bob Estremera, who runs a site with more photos called Foto Architectura.]

It was NYC photographer Bob Estremera's lucky day. The New York Landmarks Conservancy invited him on a tour of the famed, beguiling, renovated neo-Gothic masterpiece that is the 100-year-old Woolworth Building (not to hype it up too much, of course), and he jumped at the chance. He emerged with 30 shots of the palatial lobby, the carved grand staircase framed by archways, the detailed sculptural gargoyles perched here and there, the elevator bank... we could go on, but his photos speak for themselves.

"Interesting, I think, is the opening shot I took after exiting the 6 train at City Hall. It's a classic tale of the old and the new. On the left, is the venerable Woolworth Building, one of the world's early and tallest skyscrapers. On the right, still under construction, is the new Freedom Tower, its modern equivalent," writes Estremera on his photo-filled website, Foto Architectura. "Upon entering, the visitor is immediately confronted by the vaulted ceilings and grand staircase framed in marble. The curved ceilings are a glittering galaxy of thousands of individual tiles. And the ones that look like gold?O.M.G., they are actually coated in gold leaf! Immediately, you are transported to the heavens exactly as you are in a European cathedral."

We took a look into the building when it was gutted and under renovation in 2007, and we also captured the terracotta exterior from the typically closed-off 63rd-floor observation deck. Then in 2012, we got to see the building's secret basement pool.

The building officially turns 100 on April 24, just 12 days from now. Another major milestone will occur later in its birthday year, when the top floor is converted into some pretty covetable condos that are set to hit the market in early 2014. Now all Estremera wants?and who wouldn't??is a chance to go back inside and shoot some more.
· Official site: Foto Architectura [www.fotoarchitectura.com]
· Sneak a Peek at the Woolworth Building's Secret Pool [Curbed]
· Curbed Inside (Out): The Woolworth Building [Curbed]
· Curbed Inside: The Woolworth Building's Makeover [Curbed]
· Woolworth Building coverage [Curbed]