|The Woolworth Building|
The Woolworth Building sits on the corner of Arsenal Street
and Public Square
. The building is most famous for being home to the Woolworth's Department Store
, while the upper floors were home to many businesses and offices.
Plans for the Woolworth Building began in 1916, when F. W. Woolworth
took ownership of the American Building
and part of the Paddock Block
. After Woolworth's
death in 1919, the Woolworth Corporation continued ahead with plans for a new building. The American Building
and the section of the Paddock Block
bought by Woolworth
were then demolished, and the Woolworth Building was completed in 1921.
Woolworth's moved to the City Center Mall
on Arsenal Street
in 1971. Since then, many shops have occupied the bottom floor, while the upper floors continued to be used for office space.
Declining occupancy forced the closure of the Woolworth Building in 2007. In June 2008, a developer announced plans that would convert the Woolworth Building into a hotel. These plans hinged on two factors, an engineering assessment of the building, and the availability of parking for customers. The developer officially took ownership of the building in July.
It was announced in September of 2009, that the building would receive a $2.5 million historic preservation grant from New York State. This grant will enable the building's developer to go forward with his plans to renovate the structure into a hotel and restaurant.
As of December, 2010, developers were still finalizing the financing for the renovation project, and hoped to begin work sometime in 2011.
Plans for a hotel were scrapped, and plans were revamped to include a mixture of apartments and retail space. Parking for the building currently remains a stumbling block, with the city working with investors to convert the current Citibus depot, or developing the green space next to the Woodruff Professional Building
Frank Winfield Woolworth
The Stores of Watertown
Historic Structures in Watertown
WWNY:Developer Plans Upscale Hotel For Old Woolworth Building
WWNY: Woolworth Building Gets $2.5 Million Grant
WWNY: New Plans for Woolworth Building, But Parking Still an Issue