Woolworth Building, ca. 1913
In 1912, Henry Goldman decided to underwrite Woolworth. Despite Woolworth’s measly assets, Goldman managed to raise $15 million dollars of preferred stock and fifty million dollars of common stock by emphasizing the company’s future earnings potential. Common stock was offered at $55 dollars at the start of the day on which Woolworth went public; by the end of the day, it stood at $80. Woolworth used the influx of capital to build the iconic Woolworth Building a year later. Designed by Cass Gilbert, the Woolworth Building on Broadway was one of the earliest New York skyscrapers.