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NYC: any tips on getting in to see the lobby of the Woolworth Building?

NYC: any tips on getting in to see the lobby of the Woolworth Building?

Dec 17th, 2008, 02:00 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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NYC: any tips on getting in to see the lobby of the Woolworth Building?

The NYC guidebooks I've seen are unanimous about the Woolworth Building's lobby being a must-see. Problem is, if you try to these days, security guards are poised to aggressively and obnoxiously pounce on anyone trying to enter and see it, chasing folks off with squawks about this being private property.

Any suggestions about how to beat this unfortunate circumstance? I'm assuming if one has business with a company housed in the building that this wouldn't be a problem.
bachslunch is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Well, if you can wait until October, I think they had a tour (very limited availability) through the Open House NY program.

Yes, obviously if you have legitimate business in the building you can get in, but the guards there know all the tricks people use to try to get in.

I used to work nearby and back in the day routinely brought visitors, but even then the staff got tired of the gawkers.
nyer is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Yes, we walked in and were pounced on by the security guards a couple of years ago...we didn't know it was "private property" since, as you say, all the guidebooks mention it. My advice would be to just pretend you don't know, sneak in and take a quick look around before being ordered off the premises.

It's annoying that the proprietors of this one building are so obnoxiously protective, when sightseers are welcome in most of Manhattan's other grand skyscrapers: the Chrysler Building has a wonderful lobby, for example, especially the art deco elevators.
azzure is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Well most office buildings in NYC and elsewhere are private property, but they all handle visitors differently.

The number of visitors they were getting, combined with the location near the World Trade Center site, plus perhaps some of the tenants in the building made the managment decide to restrict access.

The building I work in, much less grand, also has chosen not to let in anyone without a specific appointment or not accompanied by a building employee (who must come downstairs to get their guest)
nyer is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Since 9/11 all office buildings - esp those near potential targets or that get lost of unwanted visitors - have really beefed up security.

Sorry - but the owners right to their property and the tenants right to security trump your curiosity.

Not fun for tourists - but that's the real world.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 17th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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I was thinking of something else-- why are so many guidebooks so woefully out of date on issues like this? There hasn't been casual access to the Woolworth building in YEARS now.
nyer is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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i used to work at 570 lexington avenue (moved to a different building up the block, 6 months ago). it is the old GE building. quintessentially art deco. security usually allows tourists to take a peak and maybe even let them ride the elevators. its a beautiful building.

195 broadway is a beautiful building as well. very impressive pillars. i occasionally wait for the hubby at the lobby, security never bothers me. what you do is walk in thru the broadway revolving doors, and go immediately to the right. you can sit quietly on the low radiators and enjoy the architecture from there. i wouldnt suggest this for a group. but should be a good plan for one or two people.
SUMMAGOLD is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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i forgot to reply to your question about the woolworth building. i have a friend that works there. when i visited her a while back, i remember security being very tight. they have these velevet ropes set up like those in banks, so they control the traffic of people. a hassle if you work there really. its a beautiful lobby, and the elevators are very old. even older once you get up on the floor levels. like you went back in time or something. i doubt you'll be able to get in, even for a peek. they have security standing as soon as you get in the doors, unlike most buildings where their security is further back.

try the other buildings i suggested above. have fun in NY! its the safest and cleanest it has ever been. that includes the subways!
SUMMAGOLD is offline  

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