THE WORLD BUILDING

The World Building circa 1895.  Purchase a fine-art print here .

The World Building circa 1895. Purchase a fine-art print here.

World Building elevation drawing

World Building elevation drawing

The 309-foot New York World Building (officially known as the Pulitzer Building) was the tallest skyscraper in the world when it opened in 1890. Located on Newspaper Row (today's Park Row) across from City Hall and next to the Tribune, Times, Herald, and Sun newspaper buildings, it served as an office building and vertical factory, with newspaper production starting in the tower’s dome – under the publisher Joseph Pulitzer’s direction – with photoengraving, editorial and reportorial staff meeting and compiling photographs and news stories in the sun-light upper floors. Production then traveled down to the linotype composing room, then to the giant presses in the cellar, where newsprint paper making machines printed 48,000 8-page papers per hour. Paperboys waited outside on the curb for the cut, pasted and folded papers to be distributed. 

Designed by architect George B. Post (NY Stock Exchange) the skyscraper featured an ornate red sandstone facade. The dome at the top of the world housed a public observation deck where visitors could ascend a flight of stairs to a cupola where they would be greeted with a 360-degree view of the city.By the mid-19th Century, the newspaper buildings had moved from Park Row, with the Herald going to 34th Street (Herald Sq) and the Times going to 42nd Street (Times Sq). But in January of 1953, the New York Times reported the fateful news for the World Building, which neighbored the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge: "The doom of the historic World Building at 63 Park Row was forecast yesterday as the City Planning Commission approved a $5,266,000 plan drafted by Manhattan Borough President Robert F. Wagner Jr. for rearrangement and reconstruction of the street system at the Manhattan plaza of the Brooklyn Bridge."

In 1955 the building was demolished to make way for an on-ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge. The iconic Tribune Building next door would also be demolished to make way for the Brutalist Pace University

World Building demolition, 1955. Tribune Building on the right before demolition.

World Building demolition, 1955. Tribune Building on the right before demolition.