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Cass Gilbert

Cass Gilbert was the U.S. architect responsible for the traditional style and regal proportions seen in many of the nation's finest public buildings—including the Supreme Court Building, in Washington, D.C. His remarkable body of work included federal, state, municipal, educational, and religious structures as well as facilities designed for commercial, industrial, and private use. Gilbert believed strongly that architecture should serve the established political and social order; much of his work continues to serve its public purpose decades after its conception and completion.The Woolworth Building, an innovative and elegant early skyscraper completed in 1913, endures today as an iconic form on the New York City skyline. A historicist exterior sheaths a modern steel tower, embodying both the era’s modern spirit of progress and its hesitation to fully break from the past. Cass Gilbert, selected as the architect, believed the designer should “weave into the pattern of our own civilization the beauty that is our inheritance.”The Woolworth Building, with its tremendous height and inventive use of terra-cotta, was a huge success. It was the tallest building in the world and it towered over the New York skyline for almost twenty years.

Urvi Khadakban