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28

T U E S D A Y

Although psychologists have long assured men that size isn’t everything, builders in New York have given the lie to that notion. Any number of soaring Manhattan edifices have claimed the title of tallest building in the world, only to be humbled within a few years by an even more prodigious structure. In “The Construction of Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building,” Roger Williams University professor Gail Fenske discusses the feverish interest aroused in the general public by the building of the most graceful (and, with its articulated bronze pinnacle and bilaterally spread lower stories, the most anatomically correct) of the pre-deco skyscrapers. (How much more satisfying than later, undifferentiated monoliths!) Unfortunately, Fenske will probably not address the question of what the impact on the nation’s development has been of having its financial and cultural capital in a dizzying jungle of competing phalluses, while the government meets in a flattened city with a skyline coercively dominated by a single, huge breast. At 6:30 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $6. (202) 272-2448. (James Lochart)