New York City is known for some gorgeous architecture. There are so many fabulous buildings, with so much elegance and history, as the statement goes "if these walls could talk". When my Mom visited the city back in the 1950's, she told me she stayed at the Warwick Hotel, and wondered if it was still there. I said, "oh yes and it looks still wonderful". I hope to stay there one day, to enjoy the place as much as she did back in the 1950's. Here is my list of the 10 Best Historic Hotels, in order of when they opened. So much history these 10 have behind them, we are so lucky they are still around for us to enjoy!!
- The Waldorf Astoria - March 13, 1893 Millionaire William Waldorf Astor opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site of his mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, designed by renowned architect Henry Hardenbergh.Four years later, The Waldorf was joined by the 17-story Astoria Hotel, erected on an adjacent site by Waldorf's cousin, John Jacob Astor IV.John Jacob Astor IV died tragically on the Titanic on April 15, 1912 and William Waldorf Astor died on 18 October 1919 in England, where he’d relocated to in 1893. Closing of the first Waldorf-Astoria. While the original was the arguably the grandest hotel in the world, in the 1920's, with so many new technological advances, it was becoming dated. So the decision was made to sell the site to the developers of what would become the Empire State building and to tear down the hotel in 1929. The second Waldorf-Astoria hotel opened in its current location on Park Avenue on October 1, 1931, as the tallest and largest hotel in the world. President Herbert Hoover, in a radio broadcast from The White House, saluted the new hotel, "The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality...marks the measure of nation's growth in power, in comfort and in artistry...an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation...”
- The Alqonquin Hotel - The 181-room hotel, opened in 1902, was designed by architect Goldwin Starrett. It was originally conceived as a residential hotel but was quickly converted to a traditional lodging establishment. Its first owner-manager, Frank Case (who bought the hotel in 1927), established many of the hotel's traditions. Perhaps its best-known tradition is hosting literary and theatrical notables, most prominently the members of the Algonquin Round Table.
- St Regis Hotel - The St. Regis was built by one of the wealthiest men in America, John Jacob Astor IV, as a companion to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, of which he owned half. The 18-story French Beaux-Arts style hotel, the tallest in the city when built, was designed by architects Trowbridge & Livingston, with interiors by Arnold Constable. Construction began in 1901 and the hotel opened September 4, 1904.
- The Lucerne - The Lucerne was designed by architects Mulliken & Moeller with a reddish brown façade of wonderful richness. The hotel opened in 1904. The detailing is heavy and thick making the building seem all the more like clay, but it is skillful enough so that it never feels overbearing. The entrance is one of the finest, thanks to the deeply modeled, banded entrance columns.
- The Jane Hotel - The building was originally the American Seamen's Friend Society Sailors' Home and Institute, a hotel for sailors built in 1906–08 and designed by William A. Boring in Georgian style. The building featured a chapel, a concert hall, and a bowling alley, and a beacon which played over the river from the polygonal observatory. The hotel was used to house the survivors of the RMS Titanic while the American inquest into the sinking was held.
- The Plaza Hotel - Opened October 1, 1907, took 2 years to build and 12 million dollars The Plaza Hotel is the second hotel of that name on the site. The French Renaissance château-style building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and opened to the public on October 1, 1907. At the time, it cost $12.5 million to construct. When the hotel opened, a room at the Plaza Hotel was only $2.50 per night (equivalent of $63 today). Today, the same room costs from $975 per night upwards The hotel has changed hands many times since it first opened in 1907 with Conrad Hilton and Donald Trump as two prior owners.
- The Warwick Hotel - William Randolph Hearst built the Warwick New York Hotel in 1926 for $5 million. Long catering to the elite, Hearst built the 36-story residential tower to accommodate his Hollywood friends as well as his mistress, the actress Marion Davies, who had her own specially-designed floor in the building. According to the Warwick Hotel website, James Dean, Jane Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Meyer Lansky, and Elvis Presley were frequent guests. Actor Cary Grant resided at the Warwick and lived in the hotel for 12 years. When The Beatles first came to the U.S., they stayed in the Warwick.
- The hotel's restaurant, Murals on 54, features the 1937 murals of American illustrator Dean Cornwell. The famed murals were fully restored following a 2004 renovation of the restaurant. The Warwick is also home to Randolph’s Bar & Lounge, whose rosebud leitmotif references Hearst’s purported nickname for Marion Davies.
- The Carlyle Hotel - Designed by the noted architectural firm Bien & Prince, opened in 1930, and named in honor of British essayist Thomas Carlyle, the hotel has been a Manhattan landmark for decades. The Carlyle features 188 rooms and suites with stunning views of Central Park and New York, serving an impressive list of guests and visitors.
- The Pierre Hotel - The 714-room Pierre Hotel that rose forty-one stories on the site of the Gerry mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 61st Street allowed for unrestricted views of Central Park. It cost $15 million (approximately $210 million in 2014) to build and opened to grand fanfare in October 1930. The hotel was designed by the New York firm of Schultze and Weaver as a skyscraper that rises in a blond-brick shaft from a limestone-fronted Louis XVI base. Its topmost floors render it an easily recognizable landmark on the New York skyline; they are modeled after Mansart's Royal Chapel at Versailles, a system of Corinthian pilasters and arch-headed windows, with octagonal ends, under a tall, slanted, copper roof that is pierced with bronze-finished bull's-eye dormers. New York society turned out to attend the gala dinner that marked the opening of The Pierre; it was prepared by Auguste Escoffier, "the father of French chefs", who served as a guest chef at The Pierre in its early years. As markets continued to collapse during the Great Depression, The Pierre went into bankruptcy in 1932. The oilman, J. Paul Getty, bought it for about $2.5 million in 1938 (approximately $41.9 million in 2014) and subsequently sold many cooperative apartments in the building
- Hotel Edison - The hotel opened in 1931. Thomas Edison turned on the lights when it opened. It accommodated 1,000 guests on 26 floors and offered three restaurants. Herbert J. Krapp was the architect, and Milton J. Kramer was the original owner. It is located on 46th and 47th Street, west of Broadway.It contained the Edison Theatre from 1950 until 1991 when it was converted back into a ballroom.
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