Monday, May 27, 2024

The success and decline of New York’s largest hotel in the USA

The 1970s were not the best for New York because at that time the metropolis was almost declared bankrupt. Social problems became aggravated. There were difficulties with financing and infrastructure development. The city was collapsing before our eyes and not only figuratively but also literally. An unfortunate end overtook the majestic New York hotel Grand Central, which had the title of a legendary world establishment. Although the hotel existed for quite a long time and went down in history from the first days of its activity due to the scandalous incidents that happened there, its destruction was rapid. Read more at new-york-future

Murder, theft and the Baseball League formation. These are facts from the hotel’s history

Grand Central was founded in 1870 and was located at 673 Broadway. Constructor Elias Higgins and architect Henry Engelbert, who already had experience in designing similar buildings, worked on the creation of this hotel. The Grand Central Hotel was created in the Great Second Empire style and had one of the most complex mansard roofs in the city. 

The location of the legendary establishment on lower Broadway gave it many advantages. That is how the hotel happened to be in the thick of the business, shopping and entertainment world. Grand Central was considered the largest hotel in the United States and one of the most luxurious in the world. 

Two years after opening, a high-profile murder took place in the hotel, which was quickly reported by local and foreign media. In 1872, one of the most famous financier robbers in New York, Diamond Jim, was shot just on the hotel steps. The man was killed by his business partner Edward Stokes. He was involved in the trial with him and did not want to be defeated. In addition, Edward was in love with his partner’s mistress, so he could not survive the jealousy and got rid of the rival in his career and personal life. 

The Grand Central Hotel is known not only for scandals. For example, in 1876, the National Baseball League of eight teams was formed here. It can be said that the New York hotel became a symbol of this historic event, which is why it was celebrated in Grand Central after 49 and 75 years since the League’s founding. 

However, the prestige and luxury of the hotel disappeared in the 1950s. Emigrants settled in the area where the establishment was located and a bunch of cheap entertainment venues appeared around it. The area where the hotel was located became very unattractive for tourists and citizens. That is why, drunkards, drug addicts and homeless people mostly spent the night in the “University Hotel” (Grand Central popularly got this name due to its proximity to the university). Just a while ago, the legendary and luxurious establishment turned into a place full of crime. In just six months in 1972, there were almost 50 thefts, rapes, six serious drug crimes and one murder at the hotel. 

An attempt to save the hotel and its complete destruction

Of course, the hotel owners tried to save their establishment, as they devoted so much time and effort to its development. That is why the so-called art center was opened on the lower floors, where theatrical performances, poetry readings, dance shows and film screenings took place. Nevertheless, this could not last long, when the hotel employees noticed that the Grand Central walls had shifted a little and cracks opened up on them. 

On August 3, 1973, the New York hotel met its last dawn. The hotel administration did not manage to find an engineer quickly to remedy the situation. At 5 in the evening, the building began to collapse and bricks fell right into the hotel. People were promptly evacuated and after 10 minutes, the establishment completely collapsed. Unfortunately, there were casualties, four people died and dozens were injured. Rumors had it that such cracks in the hotel walls were a result of the subway operation. The history of the Grand Central Hotel ended when a dormitory was built in its place by New York University a few years later. 

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