Our friends at the historic New Yorker Hotel in Midtown Manhattan inform us the 43-story Art Deco classic has undergone a comprehensive, $70 million restoration. The hotel, designed by the architectural firm of Sugarman and Berger opened its doors on January 2, 1930, the same year the Chrysler Building opened and just one year before the Empire State building, both Art Deco designs.
The Art Deco movement was a popular international art design movement from 1925 until 1939. Based on mathematical geometric shapes, the art movement was widely considered to be an eclectic form of elegant and stylish modernism, influencing the decorative arts such as architecture, interior design, industrial design and the visual arts. Ironically, the movement was also influenced by a variety of primitive cultures including Africa, Aztec Mexico and ancient Egypt.
When the New Yorker first opened its doors on Jan. 2, 1930, it was the largest hotel in Manhattan with 2,500 rooms. In addition to the ballrooms there were ten private dining "salons" and five restaurants employing 35 chefs. The barber shop was one of the largest in the world with 42 chairs and 20 manicurists. There were 92 telephone operators and 150 laundry staff washing as many as 350,000 pieces daily.
The New Yorker Hotel quickly gained popularity by playing host to “Big Bands” of the classic era and became the hotel of choice for many of society’s rich, famous and powerful leaders including Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and even Fidel Castro. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327 (where he also died).
Today, the New Yorker Hotel, located at the corner of 8th Ave and 34th Street, features spectacular panoramic views of midtown Manhattan from its 39th floor dining lounge. Diners get a sweeping view of landmarks such as the Chrysler Building to the north, the Empire State Building and One Penn Plaza, due east, and lower Manhattan, due south. This magnificent hotel will celebrate its 80th birthday next year.--Ruth Mitchell
(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved