Manhattan Fantasy: The Woolworth Building at 100

One hundred years ago a new kind of building was born in New York: a skyscraper evincing the gravitas of a cathedral and the playful irreverence of a child's castle

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Opened 100 years ago today (April 24, 1913) when President Woodrow Wilson pushed a button that lit up every floor at once, the steel-frame Woolworth Building in Lower Manhattan not only had a spectacular birth; it was arguably the first quintessentially American skyscraper. Financed with cash, built on the back of Frank Woolworth’s retail empire and topping out at 792 feet, the building was for decades the world’s tallest. (The Eiffel Tower, meanwhile, for years remained the world’s tallest free-standing structure.)

Cass Gilbert, Woolworth’s architect on the project, was a pioneer. While steel frames had been used by designers like Daniel Burnham in Chicago, Gilbert broke new ground with his highly decorative terra-cotta cladding techniques. And Woolworth was certainly looking for groundbreaking.

“Woolworth wanted a building that looked like the Victoria Tower in London,” Gail Fenske, author of The Skyscraper and the City and co-curator of the current exhibition on the building at The Skyscraper Museum, tells TIME. “He [wanted] to produce something that was very showy, something that captured people’s attention.”

Gilbert certainly delivered. The result was not just a fusion of different styles, but a throughly modern building. To this day, the Woolworth somehow manages to evince the gravitas of a church and the playfulness, and the irreverence, of a child’s fantasy castle. Indeed, while its flying buttresses nod to Gothic cathedrals and everywhere one sees references to Beaux Arts grandiosity, in a wonderfully self-referential move by Gilbert, its lobby famously contains marble sculptures of Woolworth—one of which represents the retail magnate clutching a miniature version of the building itself.

More Photography from Time

8 comments
ToniTodorić
ToniTodorić

Highest in the world for decades? Chrysler building opened in 1930....that means it held the title for only 17 years. 

NoorAlam1
NoorAlam1

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NoorAlam1
NoorAlam1

Repatriation of stranded Pakistanis→ Syed Imtiaz Islam

  Repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh is an outstanding issue hindering Bangladesh-Pakistan bilateral relations. The stranded Pakistanis are those non-Bengali and non-local Pakistani nationals who, through a survey conducted by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, were given the option to return to Pakistan and remain Pakistani nationals. The non-Bengali and non-local population who opted for Bangladesh after the country’s liberation from Pakistan have since been assimilated in the mainstream Bangladeshi population. These stranded Pakistanis were housed in 70 camps (now 66) in 13 districts where Bangladesh government and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) provide food, water, electricity supply and sanitation facilities.

The New Delhi Agreement of 1973 and the Tripartite Agreement (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) of 1974 gave broad outlines of the repatriation of stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh. The New Delhi Agreement prepared the ground for simultaneous repatriation of detained and stranded persons. The agreement clearly states that without prejudice to the respective positions of Bangladesh and Pakistan on the question of non-Bengalis who have opted for repatriation to Pakistan, “the government of Pakistan, guided by considerations of humanity, agrees initially to receive a substantial number of non-Bengalis from Bangladesh. It was further agreed that the prime ministers of Bangladesh and Pakistan or their designated representatives will thereafter meet to decide the number of persons who may wish to migrate to Pakistan and may be permitted to do so”.

The Tripartite Agreement of 1974 also had similar provisions and it refers to “Pakistanis in Bangladesh” as well as “non-Bengalis and non-locals”. In respect of non-Bengalis in Bangladesh, the Pakistani side stated that Pakistan government had already issued clearances for movement to Pakistan in favour of those non-Bengalis who were either domiciled in former West Pakistan, were employees of the Central Government or were members of the divided families, irrespective of their original domicile. The issuance of clearance to 25,000 people who constituted “hardship cases” was also in progress. The Pakistan side reiterated that those who fall under one of the three categories would be received by Pakistan without any limit to numbers.

The agreement further elaborates that in respect of persons whose applications had been rejected, the government of Pakistan would provide reasons stating why any particular case was rejected. Any aggrieved person could, at any time, seek a review of his application in support of his contention that he qualified for one or other of the three categories. The claim of such persons would not be time-barred. In the event of review of a case being adverse, the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh might seek to resolve it through mutual consultation.

Under provisions of these agreements, Pakistan initially cleared 147,637 persons as eligible but accepted only 126,941 persons. Thereafter no effective measures were taken to repatriate the remaining 20,696 cleared persons. Since then Pakistan has been making the plea that they had taken stranded Pakistanis more than what was stipulated in the Tripartite Agreement.

Repatriation of almost 400,000 stranded Pakistanis became a matter of uncertainty when former Pakistani military ruler General Zia-ul-Haq issued an ordinance in 1978 stripping all Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh after 1971 of their Pakistani citizenship, unilaterally and arbitrarily. General Zia-ul-Haq, however, softened his stand later and in 1982 about 4600 stranded Pakistanis were repatriated with the financial support of US$ 1.5 million received from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states with the cooperation of UNHCR. Rabita-al-Alam-al-Islami, a Saudi-based NGO, volunteered to raise necessary funds for repatriation of the stranded Pakistanis. In a survey conducted by Rabita, it was found that there were 283,093 stranded Pakistanis in 66 camps in various parts of Bangladesh. On July 9, 1986 Rabita-al-Alam-al-Islami and the government of Pakistan signed an agreement on formation of a trust to mobilise funds for repatriation of an estimated 250,000 stranded Pakistanis from Bangladesh. But this agreement came to a naught with sudden death of General Zia-ul-Haq.

Thereafter, the possibility of repatriation brightened when Nawaz Sharif came to power in 1990 with electoral promises to repatriate the remaining Stranded Pakistanis. It was decided that Pakistan would match the funds raised through overseas donations for repatriation and a plan would be prepared to settle the returnees in 32 districts in Pakistan’s Punjab.

A population census of stranded Pakistanis was jointly conducted in 1992 by Bangladesh and Pakistan. The verified figure was about 238,000. Based on this, the Pakistan High Commission was supposed to issue ID cards to these stranded Pakistanis.

During the first visit of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Bangladesh in 1992, the government of Pakistan announced that repatriation of the first batch of some 3000 families would commence by December 1992. After repatriation of a token batch comprising 50 families in January 1993, Pakistan postponed the repatriation of stranded Pakistanis indefinitely. Thereafter in 1995, Naseerullah Babar, interior minister in the Benazir Bhutto government, announced that Pakistan would not accept “Biharis” from Bangladesh .

Since then successive Bangladesh governments raised the issue at different official levels with Pakistan without any fruitful outcome. The Bangladesh foreign minister during his visit to Pakistan in March 1997 urged Pakistan to repatriate about 240,000 stranded Pakistanis showing respect to moral obligation to those people who opted to become Pakistani nationals. In reply the Pakistani foreign minister suggested gradual absorption of these people in Bangladesh. Later in 1998, the then Pakistani foreign minister Sartaj Aziz said that the Biharis stranded in Bangladesh were not Pakistani and hence there was no question of repatriating them to Pakistan.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998 assured that the proposal of repatriation and rehabilitation of the stranded Pakistanis would be examined only on the self-finance basis. This issue was again raised with the Pakistani side during the visits of the Bangladesh foreign minister in 2004 and during the annual Foreign Secretary level meetings. Pakistani side simply took note of Bangladesh’s concern on the issue without making any commitment.

Pakistan initially attempted to adopt the stance that they had taken back more than what was stipulated in the Tripartite Agreement of 1973. Pakistan also stated that it had no moral or legal obligation to accept more than 126,941 persons who were already repatriated. Pakistan has been trying to underplay the issue of repatriation of the stranded Pakistanis by calling them “Bihari” with a view to avoiding responsibility to take them back. According to an UNHCR estimate prepared in 2006, about 1.3 lakh stranded Pakistanis would need to be repatriated while 1.7 lakh have become eligible for Bangladeshi citizenship.

NoorAlam1
NoorAlam1

In his telephonic address to MQM workers in Karachi, Altaf Hussain said 99 percent of Pakistanis did not know the real historical facts.
“I do not want to keep the nation in dark, he said; adding historical facts have been concealed from people in the past.
Defending his British nationality, he claimed that Quaid-e-Azam too had a British passport.
He also showed the image of Quaid-e-Azam oath that he took as first Governor General of Pakistan in which he pledged to remain faithful to the King of England.
First three governor generals of Pakistan took the same oath, adding it was a legal necessity.
Under the pretext of this argument, he defended his dual nationality and proved that one can be faithful to ones country despite having nationality of another country.
Pakistan became a democratic republic in 1956 before which it was under the British Empire, he said.
“It is wrong that Pakistan got independent status 1947,” he said.
He said it was an irony that those who fought for independence were being labeled as traitors, and those who opposed Pakistan were now pretending to be its guardians.
Defending his stay in London, he said he had been constantly in touch with his workers for the last 22 years. “
“I was forced by circumstances to live away from country, it was not my choice,” he advocated.
He said PML-N and PPP leaders had also lived in foreign countries for long periods of time.
“PML-N chief also Nawaz Sharif stayed in Saudi Arabia for eight years when his government was toppled by then dictator Musharraf,” he said.
In his address, Altaf also condemned the firing incidents by the Indian army which has ignited war hysteria.
He urged the Indian government to stop its army from brutal attacks on Pakistani forces.
Rejecting all objections being raised against the long march announced by Tahirul Qadri, Altaf said MQM would participate in it at every cost.
“Government should accept the decision of long march as MQM has accepted its many demands in the past.
“All political forces must unite for the defence the country,” he said.
While speaking in favour of anti government rally likely to be held on January 14, he said that all political and religious parties have undertaken long marches in the past. Why the steps taken by the Minhajul Quran and the MQM are being so severely opposed in the name of so-called law and order situation, he said.
He claimed that the MQM is the only party that believes in democracy; adding those who pretend to be champions of democracy in the TV talk shows actually have nothing to do with the A,B,C of democracy.
MQM chief said Urdu speaking people should not be pushed to wall. “
“MQM does not wand a separate province for Urdu speaking Pakistanis but if they are ignored, they would be bound to demand division of Sindh,” he said.
He said he was ready to return to Pakistan immediately.
To this Farooq Sattar, on behalf of MQM workers, requested him not to come back.Defending the criticism for holding dual nationality, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain said that Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was also British passport holder and he took oath to remain loyal to British king and successors.In his telephonic address to MQM workers in Karachi, Altaf Hussain said 99 percent of Pakistanis did not know the real historical facts.
“I do not want to keep the nation in dark, he said; adding historical facts have been concealed from people in the past.

NoorAlam1
NoorAlam1

A bike bomb explosion at an MQM election office in Karachi’s Nusrat Bhutto Colony at around 10pm on Thursday killed at least five people and injured 15 others. Earlier, in the day, two bikers hurled a grenade on an election office of a Pakistan Peoples Party candidate in Baluchistan’s in Nushki district, killing one person and injuring another.
The Pakistan-Tehrik-Taliban (TTP), which claimed the Karachi attack, has announced to target outgoing coalition government partners PPP, Mutthida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP), all three thought to be secular parties. The outlawed militant organisation also distributed pamphlets in Buner, Peshawar and different areas of Karachi warning citizens not to participate in upcoming elections.
Those killed in the blast near the MQM North Karachi Unit-175 in Nazim Abad area included three cousins Bilal Kareem, Aqeel Islam and Adil Siddique, while the two others were Ayub and Imran Umar. At least five vehicles and six houses, and more than a dozen shops were damaged. Experts said that some two to three kilogram explosive was used in the motorcycle bomb.
A previous bomb blast outside an MQM election office near Peoples Chowrangi had killed at least four people and wounded 25 others on Tuesday, following the party observed day of mourning shutting the port city. The party again announced a day of mourning across Sindh today (Friday) against the blast and appealed transporters and traders to support it. Private Schools Association also announced a holiday, following the MQM’s appeal.
MQM chief Altaf Hussain strongly condemned this act of terrorism and expressed sympathies to the victim families. MQM leader Wasy Jalil said they were keeping their election offices closed but party workers had gathered at the Unit Office to run the election campaign. He said the party cannot be forced out of the election by such kind of coward terrorist attacks. Earlier, the MQM had urged the election commission to postpone polls for two to three months over security reasons.
But, chairing a meeting on election security, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim reiterated that the May 11 elections won’t get delayed even by a day. In his message to media, he urged the journalists “not to allow miscreants create an atmosphere of fear and panic”. “Media is part of our team. It’s your responsibility to expose foul play wherever you see. But it’s also your role not to allow the anti-state elements create chaos and panic. I leave it up to you how you go about it.”
“We’re a resilient nation and resilient nations brave odd times... Together we will accomplish this noble mission after 16 days,” Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan told journalists after the meeting while referring to the ongoing spate of violence.
Interestingly, the electoral body also directed the Ministry of Water and Power to stop load shedding until May 12, and the ministry has assured that “there would be no load shedding” in the coming days. “We told them, we want no power outages in the coming weeks particularly on the 10th, 11th and 12th of May. They have assured us that there would be no load shedding in the in the days to come,” Ishtiak said.
The Thursday’s meeting at the ECP office reviewed general law and order situation and discussed security measures for 119 districts of the country, seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions. Participated by ECP and bosses of federal and provincial security institutions, the meeting gave a nod to using the military as a quick response force and setting up polling stations and going ahead with other polling activities all over the country, including the security challenging north-western tribal region.
The ECP secretary said that polling stations would be set up for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Fata and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the IDPs relief camps. “Elections would be held in every district and agency of Pakistan including Fata and Balochistan,” he reiterated.
Ishtiak Khan said that prime responsibility for the security provision rested with the provincial governments that had shared their security plans with the ECP. On Balochistan security situation also, he emphasised that it was the duty of the provincial government to use state institutions against the miscreants. After assurances from the military, the ECP has reportedly decided to also establish polling stations in the volatile North Waziristan, which has 160,666 registered voters – 148,692 male and 11,704 female.

    on epaper page 1 The election commission Thursday vowed not to delay the elections even by a ‘single day’ as polls related attacks killed at least six more people while Taliban distributed pamphlets in some cities warning citizens against participating in the elections. in karachi urdu people muslim killing more

NoorAlam1
NoorAlam1

TO
The

Deputy Commissioner's Office, Chittagong

(Old Bangladesh Bank) (Chittagong

031/619996, 611600 Fax: 620570            Mobile: 01713-104332

621002 620600

Sub;- our Documents messing I.C.R.C. Reg.no,B10914

                                                                           Sarddar Bahadur School Camp Pahartali                                                                          chittagong

                                                                          Bangladesh , Urdu-speaking Biharis REGISTRSTATION NO.B10914 DF DATE.17/10/1982 KARACHI PAKISTAN FORM TO BE FILLED IN DUPLICATEBY REPATRIATES FROM BANGLADESH. To Pakistan,

Date 15/10/1982 camping at Chittagong  Bangladesh and 16/10/1982 move Dhaka and 17/10/1982 REPATRIATES FROM

BANGLADESH. To Pakistan,

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Post addres

Yours  

Miss mony d/o mother name Jamila khatoon

Post addres

MY E-MAIL nooralam469@gmail.com  nooralam469@hotmail.com .

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DouglasPaul
DouglasPaul

Fantasy indeed! The first skyscraper in the world was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago, built in 1884!

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