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Woolworth To Sell Landmark Tower

April 29, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ The nation’s best-known five-and-dime chain has closed its once ubiquitous stores and it will soon change its name. Now, Woolworth Corp. has announced plans to sell its landmark 60-story Gothic tower in lower Manhattan.

The announcement Tuesday ends months of speculation about the future of the Woolworth Building, the company’s headquarters for 85 years.

Woolworth has said it would move some of its divisions out of the city, but spokeswoman Jane Friedberg said the company hopes to keep its corporate headquarters in New York. She said it was ``preliminary″ to discuss which units would be relocated or where.

The Woolworth Building, the world’s tallest building from 1913 to 1929, when it was surpassed by the Chrysler Building, was known as the ``Cathedral of Commerce″ after its completion.

Looming over City Hall Park on Broadway, the edifice is immediately identifiable by its the lantern-like crown. Inside, it’s graced by a vaulted lobby covered with mosaics and gargoyles.

Last year, Woolworth closed its 400 five-and-dime stores nationwide and announced it would focus on its Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker and Champs Sports stores. The company plans to change its corporate name to the Venator Group in June.

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