Sunday, May 28, 2023

New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel

New York is a city of skyscrapers, magnificent architecture, office buildings and hotels. In the 21st century, many hotels are located in the New York territory. Each of them is totally unique with luxurious architecture and interesting history. Among such hotels is the old Knickerbocker Hotel, the history of which not every New York resident knows. Read more at new-york-future

The history of New York’s Knickerbocker Hotel

The hotel’s history begins in the 1900s. One of the richest people of the 20th century, John Astor, bought a land plot in the area of modern Times Square. In 1906, he built the grand Knickerbocker Hotel on this site. 

In the early 20th century, the hotel became a center where celebrities and politicians from all over the world stayed. This place became the heart of the social life of New York. 

The hotel’s opening turned the unattractive Times Square into a real tourist center of New York City. The hotel also had a famous bar called The 42nd Street Country Club, as well as a huge 600-seat cafe. Loud and glamorous events were often held there. When in 1920, Prohibition came into force in America, the famous hotel met its end. In fact, since its opening, the establishment existed only because of noisy parties, where alcohol flowed like water. After the hotel on Times Square was closed, the building was converted into offices. 

From the Knickerbocker Hotel to the Times Square offices

After the hotel was converted into offices during Prohibition, the building retained its former name, the Knickerbocker. From 1940 to 1959, the office of the city magazine Newsweek was located in the hotel building. In the 1980s, the old hotel building was thoroughly renovated. Since that time, the building contained showrooms for clothes and also offices remained as before. In addition, in the 1980s, the old hotel building was recognized as a historical heritage and a landmark of New York City. In 2001, another large-scale reconstruction of the historic hotel was carried out. 

The building was reused as a hotel only in 2013. Another reconstruction was carried out, during which the hotel was created. The hotel was given its historical name the  Knickerbocker. During the entire 20 century, the old hotel building was one of the most luxurious in the Manhattan area. 

After the hotel reopened in the 21st century, it gained a mixed reputation. The restored building was very far from the original Knickerbocker Hotel, which received a lot of criticism. Modern furniture and interior design became the complete opposite of the Renaissance and fine arts that were present in the interior in the 1900s. On the other hand, the new hotel still competed with other hotels that were located close to Times Square. First of all, the hotel had a very convenient location, nice rooms, a rooftop bar and a wellness center. The only thing that was missing in the hotel after the reconstruction was the swimming pool. 

The architecture of an old hotel in the heart of Times Square

The old hotel building in Manhattan was built in the early 20th century in the Beaux-Arts style. This style included French Neoclassicism and some elements of the Renaissance and Baroque. In the architectural style of Beaux-Arts, such modern materials as iron and glass were used. It was the main architectural style in France until the beginning of the 20th century. 

The hotel facades faced Broadway and 42nd Street. They were constructed of exquisite red brick with terracotta inserts. The hotel building, like many other buildings of the early 20th century, had a mansard roof. Also, the hotel had a small annex on 41st Street. Its architecture was built in the Romanesque Revival style. 

Inside, the hotel had a unique and unsurpassed design in the Renaissance style. In the 21st century, during numerous reconstructions, it was still possible to preserve some original interior details. At the beginning of the 20th century, the hotel housed 300 guest rooms. 

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