View Full Version : Millenium Hilton to open

April 4th, 2003, 08:13 AM

Millenium Hilton Near Ground Zero Set to Reopen *

By Vera Haller

There's a sign of new commercial life near Ground Zero.

The Millenium Hilton Hotel -- which is so close to the World Trade Center site that you can see it reflected in the hotel's glass facade -- is getting ready to reopen on May 5th for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001.

Miraculously, the 55-story tower at the corner of Church and Dey streets, directly across the street from Ground Zero, was left standing after the Twin Towers fell. Though its more than 500 rooms were filled to 80 percent capacity on that day, all guests and employess were evacuated safely.

But it's proximity to the disaster site left many questions about its structural soundness and whether it had been environmentally contaminated by the thick dust that covered the hotel -- inside and out -- after the towers collapsed.

Getting answers to these questions was why the $32 million renovation has taken 18 months, said hotel general manager Jan Larsen.

He said that after the hotel was found to be structurally safe, a decision was made to gut the inside down to the concrete floors and take out everything that was removable. Walls were ripped out, a new kitchen was installed and even the employee uniforms were replaced.

Although views from many of the rooms are of Ground Zero, Larsen said he is optimistic that business will return -- just as about 90 percent of the more than 300 employees who were working on Sept. 11 have done.

Beverly Tomlinson, a housekeeper, is one of those employees. She started working at the Millenium when it first opened in June 1992 and was working in 1993 when six people were killed in the World Trade Center bombing.

"This (Sept. 11) was not our first tragedy together. We went through 1993. We took people in and we worked overtime and a lot of us got connected," Tomlinson said.

As for the reopening later this month, Tomlinson said she facing it with mixed emotions. "To really remember what was across the street is a little bit sad ... but this is going to be a lively occasion for us -- not forgetting but rebuilding and moving on."

The rooms have been refitted in contemporary design, each with a flat-screen high definition television. The dining room and bar has been remodeled, although the rosewood accents in the lobby are the same as before the attacks.

In the kitchen, executive chef Joe Verde was already at work, creating a new menu and assembling his staff. He said many of his workers also had returned, even though some had found different jobs during the renovation.

"It's like a rebirth ... lots of hugs and emotions," Verde said.

To spur business, the hotel will offer a special $199 a night rate for the month of May. Larsen said this is about $100 - $150 less than the going rate for a hotel room in Lower Manhattan.

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/nyc-millvideo0403,0,7247832.realvideo?coll=nyc%2Dgroun dzero%2Dheadlines


Medical and emergency workers stand in front of the Millenium Hilton in lower Manhattan in this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo. The last of the scaffolding was removed April 1, 2003, as the luxury hotel puts the finishing touches on its renovation, with plans to reopen in early May.



The Millenium Hilton is nearly ready for its May reopening.


The World Trade Center site is reflected on the newly-renovated black glass facade of the Millenium Hilton Hotel, which expects to open in May for the first time since the World Trade Center attacks.

Just Rich
April 4th, 2003, 08:45 AM
That's great news!
I had no idea the interior damage required a complete retrofit.
That's a lot of work.

April 4th, 2003, 10:15 AM
I'm not surprised.
Big hotels do that periodically anyway.

April 4th, 2003, 01:43 PM
Tourists will book it on Priceline and not realize the view is of "Ground Zero."

April 4th, 2003, 02:14 PM
It was pleasant to see the removal of the street level scaffolding yesterday on my way home.

April 4th, 2003, 03:36 PM
Quote: from dbhstockton on 1:43 pm on April 4, 2003
Tourists will book it on Priceline and not realize the view is of "Ground Zero."

You're right.
But I've always thought that this hotel was used mainly by businessmen. Tourists usually stay at Midtown hotels, right ?

April 4th, 2003, 04:03 PM
Quote: from Fabb on 3:36 pm on April 4, 2003
You're right.
But I've always thought that this hotel was used mainly by businessmen. Tourists usually stay at Midtown hotels, right ?
Yes, it was mainly for business guests. They had an attractively priced "weekend getaway" to fill rooms.

It may pick up more tourists now because of its view.

TLOZ Link5
April 4th, 2003, 04:53 PM
I think it's a gorgeous building. *One of the best glass boxes in New York. *I'm very glad to hear that it's reopening.

April 5th, 2003, 02:52 AM
So am I.
It's really a smaller version of TWT.
Maybe the two of them would look nice if they were together.

April 20th, 2003, 10:54 PM

55 Church Street, New York, NY 10007
Tel: 1-212-693-2001 Fax: 1-212-571-2316

The Millenium Hilton will proudly re-open on April 27, 2003. We are located in the heart of New York City's Financial District. The rooms and suites are well appointed with high-tech amenities including: a 42" plasma screen television, high speed internet access, dual line cordless phone with dataport and personalized voice mail. Enjoy a brisk workout in our state of the art fitness center or take a vigorous swim in the indoor heated swimming pool. Toast the day's events in our chic lobby bar, Liquid Assets, or dine in our fabulous restaurant, Church & Dey, serving authentic American regional cuisine. If you'd like to take a stroll you're just minutes from Wall Street, Greenwich Village, SoHo, TriBeCa, Battery Park and the South Street Seaport. Finally, rest your head on a Hilton SweetDreams(TM) Bed with plush down pillows while you enjoy an in-room movie or the radio/CD player. It Happens at the Hilton.


The Millenium Hilton Hotel (http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/millenium_hilton/default.htm) -- which is so close to the World Trade Center site that you can see it reflected in the hotel's glass facade -- is getting ready to reopen on April 28th for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001.


The Millenium Hilton Hotel (http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/millenium_hilton/default.htm) is on the other side of Ground Zero from the Winter Garden (http://www.wirednewyork.com/wfc/winter_garden_wfc.htm).

http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/millenium_hilton/images/millenium_hilton_ground_zero_winter_garden_21dec02 .jpg

The Millenium Hilton Hotel (http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/millenium_hilton/default.htm), The World Financial Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/wfc/default.htm) and the skyscrapers of the lower Manhattan.


Looking down at the Millenium Hilton Hotel (http://www.wirednewyork.com/hotels/millenium_hilton/default.htm) from the World Trade Center (http://www.wirednewyork.com/wtc/default.htm) Observatory.


April 20th, 2003, 11:02 PM

That's the first time I've ever noticed Marine Midland in the skyline.

NyC MaNiAc
April 21st, 2003, 01:31 AM
Great to hear things getting back to normal in Lower Manhattan. This and the rebuilding of 7WTC are great news for the city of New York.

April 21st, 2003, 03:54 AM
Fabb wrote:
So am I.
It's really a smaller version of TWT.
Maybe the two of them would look nice if they were together.

Except that Millenium Hilton was built about a decade before TWT.

MAYBE you should say that TWT looks like a big version of Millenium Hilton.

Attia's original design called for a concave wall up the entire front facade, not disimiliar to the front of KPF's Espirito Santo Plaza Building in Miami:

For cost reasons the developer removed that "detail" and it became a box.

That said, it has great proportions. It's a bold move for such a small footprint. I like to call it the domino, it is so slender in profile. It also has the most minimal visible assembly of any curtain wall I'm familiar with. Look at that photo from the WTC observatory. To the eye it appears to be one unbroken sheet of glass.

Truly Amazing.

Glad to hear it is re-opening.

Bk Italian 123
April 21st, 2003, 08:05 AM
this is good news that the tower is re-opening, its about time as well. *Thanx 4 the good newz. Halla :)

Bennie B
April 21st, 2003, 09:04 AM
hip hip hooray! *They are gonna do brisk business.

April 29th, 2003, 10:16 PM
WOW!!! When I read the good news and saw some of the photos that were posted, I got a good feeling inside! In the aftermath of September 11, I was asked
to go to Ground Zero. The Millenium Hotel was one of the buildings I did the rigging on and put up all the safety netting.
* * I remember as if it was yesterday. The first thing that caught my eye has I entered the lobby was the word, "REVENGE!", written in the dust and soot right behind the front desk. But as my eyes started to take the room in I was amazed. The marble horse on one of the tables just stood out in the mist of debris and soot,
as the sunlight filled the lobby through all the broken windows. Then I noticed more writing in the dust, something like, "May God and President Bush grant us revenge." It was signed the 105th SFB. The room still
didn't release it's hold on me for once I scanned the other side of the room I was hit by an emotion I can't put in words. There was a piano in the corner of the lobby near the small bar. There was a giant *bottle of champagne sitting on top of the piano covered in gray
soot. I don't know why this image hit me in such a strange way. I had a million feeling every day I was at Ground Zero, but the Millenium Hotel experience was something that had my mind going through a thousand
* *Naturally, I had to go to the roof of the Millenium to rig the cables for all the scaffolds. The roof also held
strong emotions for me! As I was working on the roof and looking over the parapet wall into the pit of Ground Zero and see the total view from so high up really rocked me. This is beyond everything I had seen from ground level, I knew the destruction was massive but seeing everything from 56-stories up was something
altogether different. Then the final memory that ties me to the Millenium forever, in the debris I found a tiny rubber toy bus covered in soot and ash. As I picked it up and wiped away the soot and realized what it was I
shocked. I knew where this tiny toy came from!!!! Who's desk was in on? Did that person make it out? How in the world did this toy rubber bus survive so much destruction without even a mark on it. Was it meant for me to find! How much further would this tiny toy rubber bus travel? It's IMPORTANT to me and everytime I look at it, I remember!!!!!! *
* *Sorry didn't mean to run on and make this a book!
Thanks for listening! * * * CHINGY - "LOUIE"
* * I

April 29th, 2003, 10:29 PM
No need to apologize, Louie. *I really appreciated your post.

April 29th, 2003, 10:31 PM
Man, It's gonna be two years in a few months...

April 30th, 2003, 11:39 AM
I can't believe how fast the time has gone...

April 30th, 2003, 03:50 PM
The Millenium Hilton is visible in Libeskind's newer rendering of "Sept. 11 Place:"


It looks a little small, but I guess the point of view is supposed to be somewhere near West St.

TLOZ Link5
April 30th, 2003, 07:56 PM
I see it just fine, Stockton.

May 1st, 2003, 01:53 AM
Photos taken just a few weeks ago:



(Edited by chris at 1:54 am on May 1, 2003)