New York World Building
|New York World Building|
|Location||99 Park Row
New York City, New York
|Antenna spire||106.4 m (349 ft)|
|Roof||94.18 m (309.0 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||George B. Post|
The New York World Building was a skyscraper in New York City designed by early skyscraper specialist George Browne Post and built in 1890 to house the now-defunct newspaper, The New York World. It was razed in 1955.
Construction of the New York World Building began on October 10, 1889, at 53-63 Park Row, on the corner of Park Row and the now-closed Frankfort Street. The building was completed on December 10, 1890. The claimed height of the building was 20 stories, comparable to 16 or 18 stories by current standards. The New York World Building was also known as the Pulitzer Building after the paper's owner, Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911), who commissioned it. Pulitzer's private office was on the second level of the dome and looked down on other buildings along the street.
Pulitzer, an impoverished Jewish immigrant born in Hungary, came to America to seek his fortune in 1864, during the American Civil War. He arrived in New York City, having been brought to America by military recruiters. He served in the Lincoln Cavalry at the age of 17 years. After the war, his employment prospects in New York City were grim, as he did not yet speak English. (His unit in the U.S. Army was made up entirely of German mercenaries; German was a language Pulitzer spoke.) He traveled in boxcars on trains until he reached the Midwest, settling in St. Louis, Missouri, where there was a large German-speaking population. After a long period of hard work, (including teaching himself the English language,) in 1872, he was able to buy a stake in a German-language newspaper, which he sold the next year at a profit. In 1879, he bought both The St. Louis Dispatch and The St. Louis Post, and merged the two newspapers into The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, creating an important bastion of journalism which still exists today. Pulitzer was also the owner and publisher of The New York World newspaper, which he purchased from Jay Gould (1836-1892) in 1883.
Pulitzer had become an American citizen in 1867. Because of his own life experiences, including his 1864 arrival in the New York harbor, Pulitzer felt compelled to support the effort to build a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty in the harbor of New York City. (Providing a site with a proper structural support base to anchor the statue was the only condition France placed on America with regard to its gift of that great monument to the United States of America.) Funds for the erection of that base, collected beginning in 1882 and controlled by the American Committee for the Statute of Liberty, were depleted by 1884 with construction on the pedestal barely begun. Pulitzer used his influence in The New York World to appeal to the American public to donate more funds to build the necessary structure for the gift from the people of France. He promised to print the name of every person who made a donation, no matter how small the amount. Pulitzer’s efforts over the course of the next five months resulted in the collection of over $100,000, more than sufficient to complete the construction of the new pedestal on Bedloe Island.
In 1905, Pulitzer asked Otto Heinigke (1850-1915) to create a magnificent stained glass window for The New York World Building that would memorialize the fundraising effort for the Statue of Liberty. Heinigke designed a stained glass window that incorporated the iconic image of the colossus as well as the banner of The New York World. The window, acclaimed a masterpiece by Pulitzer, was completed in 1908 and installed over the William Street entrance to the newspaper building. Years later, in 1953, when The New York World Building was condemned, the Heinigke window was saved by a group of journalists headed by a Columbia journalism professor, who wanted to preserve that testament to the power of the printed word and the efforts of Joseph Pulitzer. They raised the funds necessary to purchase the window from the City of New York, which, after condemnation proceedings, owned the newspaper building, and installed the window in a place of honor. Today, nearly 60 years later, the window is still displayed in Room 305 of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where it serves as the backdrop for many events, including the annual presentation of the Pulitzer Prizes.
During the 19th century, many high-rise buildings were constructed by newspaper companies along Park Row, immediately east of the old New York City Hall. This developed into a competition and a race for the tallest. Other contenders included the Tribune Building designed by Richard Morris Hunt (1876), the Potter Building (1886), the Park Row Building (1899), and two other buildings by George Post, the St. Paul Building (1895–1898), and the old Times Building (1889).
The New York World Building was the winner of this competition and the tallest building in New York City for about five years. It was the city's first building to surpass the 284-foot spire of Trinity Church which, at the time, dominated the city's skyline. It was also featured on the cover of the World Almanac from 1890 to 1934.
The World Building was demolished in 1955 for the expanded car ramp entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.