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Thread: New Yorker Hotel - 481 Eighth Avenue - by Sugarman and Berger

  1. #46
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    Whew, delayed response, huh? The red sign going up is on the west side of the building, facing Jersey. I haven't seen anything tricky happen with it yet (ie flashing, i don't even think I've seen it lit up, maybe I should make a mental note to check...).

  2. #47
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Filling in a Blank on the New York Skyline

    NY Times
    By LISA CHAMBERLAIN

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/09/re...pagewanted=all


    In 1967, the musical "Hair" opened at the Public Theater in Manhattan; the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed 500,000 antiwar protesters at United Nations Plaza; and the New Yorker Hotel sign, installed in 1941, went dark.

    The 20-foot-high letters still face west toward the Hudson River and are visible during the day, but the darkened sign, now a landmark, symbolizes the decline of a once glamorous hotel. That is about to change, as the new red letters on the sign are to be relighted by the end of this month.

    The installation of the sign will be the first step in a major renovation of the hotel, which is to begin in earnest early next year.


    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
    Workers raise a section of a
    letter for the New Yorker Hotel sign.

    While the 75-year-old hotel at 481 Eighth Avenue, between 34th and 35th Streets, will not be fully restored to its Art Deco glory, a $43 million refurbishment is being done in anticipation of major investments planned for the west side of Midtown in the low 30's. The most notable are the relocation of Penn Station to the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

    Built in 1929 by the same architects and builders who later erected the Empire State Building, the New Yorker opened in January 1930, so it is no stranger to hard times. But with its two-story lobby, grand ballroom, marble floors, brass finishes and highly stylized furnishings, it became a prominent gathering spot for movie stars and other notables, including Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford, Muhammad Ali and Fidel Castro, who ate, drank, danced and rattled sabers there. Later, the hotel fell on hard times, as did the entire neighborhood, and the beautiful and important people moved on.

    The hotel closed in 1970 and was bought by the Unification Church in 1975, which used it as a residence for almost 20 years. As the tenant population declined, the church decided to try reopening it as a hotel, at least in part.

    In 1994, the New Yorker Hotel Management Company, which leases the building from the Unification Church, began converting the top 10 floors (the building has 40 stories) into moderately priced hotel rooms, and much of the rest was subleased as commercial and dormitory space.

    "With all the investment that's going to happen in the area, we thought it was a good time to consider making some changes," said Kevin Smith, executive vice president and general manager of the New Yorker Hotel Management Company, a corporation formed to manage the property.

    "We looked very seriously at converting to condos," he said, "but because of the configuration of the building that would have required a very big investment. Now, with the condo market softening, not going that route is looking like the right decision, especially with an increasing demand and decreasing supply of hotel rooms in New York."

    After a lengthy analysis, Mr. Smith said, his company decided to keep a mix of uses in the building but to upgrade the lobby and meeting spaces, as well as to add hotel rooms, which will occupy the top 20 floors, for a total of 920 rooms.

    The classic Art Deco wedding-cake-style building, with each tier set back from the one below, makes room renovations particularly challenging. There will be 17 different room configurations, with the cost of the face-lifts averaging $17,000 a room.

    The building, which encompasses about a million square feet, is to get a new central heating and cooling system. It will continue to have 250,000 square feet of office space that lease for about $25 to $30 a square foot annually, and 100,000 square feet of dorm space, used by a number of New York City colleges, with annual rents of $40 a square foot.

    Because of several renovations over the decades that paid little attention to the building's overall architecture, the lobby, grand ballroom and meeting spaces are a hodgepodge of styles. Some original detailing is intact, like the brass elevator doors and marble floors, currently covered by carpeting. But much of the kitschier Art Deco décor is actually from the 1950's, as are the marquees and the street-level building sign, which will be replaced. There was also a classical renovation of the lobby undertaken at some point, which introduced crystal chandeliers and Corinthian columns.

    "Our goal is to bring back the Deco feel, but the reality is, our hands are going to be a little tied by previous renovations," said Gintaras Lietuvninkas, vice president of the Gettys Group, an architecture firm based in Chicago, which is directing the hotel's renovations. "One idea we have is to cover those large fluted columns simply by hanging fabric and lighting it in a dramatic way."

    Other changes include opening up the two-story lobby all the way to the street; it is now partly blocked by storefronts.

    There are also two restaurants: a 24-hour diner, the Tick Tock, at the corner of 34th Street, and a tablecloth Italian place, La Vigna, at the corner of 35th. The diner will be freshened up, but stay largely the same. The other space will undergo a more significant renovation.

    "We're going to do a real sophisticated New York restaurant, very contemporary," said Arnold Syrop, principal of Arnold Syrop Associates, the architecture firm that was brought in to redo just the restaurants and which also recently renovated the interior of the Peacock Alley restaurant at the Waldorf-Astoria.

    Some of the New Yorker's glamorous past will still be incorporated into the renovations. The mezzanine of the lobby will be turned into a gallery space featuring some of the 500 pieces of memorabilia collected over the years by the building's facilities manager, Joseph Kinney, the New Yorker's amateur historian.

    "The collection," Mr. Kinney said, "contains three kinds of items: things left over from the hotel, things I've found on eBay and stuff given to us by heirs."

    As an example, Mr. Kinney pulled out a tuxedo worn by the longtime leader of the New Yorker Hotel Orchestra, Bernie Cummings. "It's the heritage of a place that gives it value," he said. "Otherwise, it's just bricks and mortar."




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  4. #49
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    New Yorker Hotel Sign

    http://nycenvirons.blogspot.com/2005...otel-sign.html




    Last night the New Yorker Hotel sign was relit for the first time since the 1960s. The hotel had a party and, in addition to hotel workers and other guests, invited some decedents of the hotel's historic luminaries to watch the relighting via closed circuit camera. Using an original elevator control handle that was still in use as late as 1994, the general manager of the hotel, Kevin Smith, pulled the lever and after a pregnant pause, the red letters were alight. The sign refurbishment is part of a major renovation. It was built in 1929 and -- despite opening shortly after the stock market crash -- became one of the hottest spots in New York City. But the hotel declined and finally closed in the 1970s. It was partially reopened in 1994 and has been operating as a modest mixed-use commercial and hotel building, a far cry from its glory days of yore. When I get some pics of last night's event, I'll post. In the meantime, for a Times article about the renovation, click here.
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  5. #50

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    The sign should be white.


  6. #51
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    Thought this place had over 1,000 rooms in it, i guess crains hotel report was wrong, also thought it had close to 500,000 sf of commercial space

  7. #52

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    View from W34th and 10th Ave

  8. #53

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    The sign is lit up again. Looks kickass at night.

  9. #54
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    Yeah I like it, The New Yorker sign is one of Manhattan's most recognizable icons

  10. #55
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    So I was laying on my couch watching Roseanne. The New Yorker sign visible out of the corner of my eye. Typically I notice a flash in that direction as 4 Penn Plaza lights up or turns off. That wasn't the case tonight. As previously though, the sign does indeed flash. Just for about 2 minutes, rotating between 'New' 'Yorker' 'New Yorker' flash flash. I actually don't mind it, but never realized it flashed. I think I noticed it the other night, just didn't pay attention. Sort of fun actually.

  11. #56
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    NEW YORKER HOTEL EMBARKS ON $65 MILLION RENOVATION,
    REFURBISHMENT TO BE COMPLETED AUGUST 2008
    Hotel to Re-Emerge on the Scene Revitalized with Art Deco and Modern Edge Style;
    Complete Overhaul of Furnishings, Remodeled Lobby, New Restaurants Among Highlights


    NEW YORK, NY (Aug. 13, 2007) - Once the largest hotel in New York, with more than 2,500 rooms when it first opened in 1930, the New Yorker Hotel has launched an aggressive program to revitalize what is still one of the biggest art deco buildings in the heart of midtown New York City. The owners, recognizing the value of the hotel's glorious past history, have embarked on an ambitious $65 million renovation and remodeling project to both restore its art deco reputation and add the modern edge and style that today's guests demand.

    The scope of the project, to be completed by August 2008, includes the following:

    * Installation of a new heating and air conditioning system for the entire hotel (a four-pipe HVAC system, which will allow guests to control heat and cool air all year long - not an oft-found amenity in many hotels)

    * Total overhaul of furniture, carpets, wallpaper and fixtures in both the guest rooms and the hallways on the guest floors

    * Complete redesign of the lobby to recapture the grandeur and feel of when the New Yorker opened in 1930

    * Facelift of the entire front of the hotel on Eighth Avenue - replacing signage, re-facing the stonework, and changing the marquee

    * Guest services enhancements including improved free Wi-Fi service and better television programming

    * Upgrade and refurbishment of the hotel's restaurants (La Vigna Ristorante & Bar and the 24-hour Tick Tock Diner)

    "The time is right for us to embark on this major renovation project to revitalize our fantastic property," said Thomas McCaffrey, director of sales and marketing for the New Yorker.

    "Our goal is to keep pace with the tremendous development taking place on the West Side with new hotel construction and the expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center. We're anchored in a superb location, so we're renewing a once-tired product, infusing it with style and new amenities to unleash its character and make it a hotel in demand," he added.

    The design concept is the exotic and glamorous New York/Hollywood art deco style of the 1930's, as a nod to the hotel's past, but with a distinctive modern edge. This project marks the property's first renovation since 2000.

    NYC-based Stonehill & Taylor (www.stonehilltaylor.com) has been tapped to conduct the architectural and interior design. Established in 1963, Stonehill & Taylor has broad hospitality experience encompassing five-star, transient and extended-stay properties with an impressive client roster including Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Affinia Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels and many other properties, restaurants, industrial and commercial buildings, showrooms, education and healthcare complexes.

    "The New Yorker Hotel will open a new chapter in its life once the renovation and refurbishment is complete in August 2008," McCaffrey said.

    Copyright ©, The New York Observer, L.P.

  12. #57
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    Default ZOWEE -- Art Deco Rules (as always)

    A fully restored art deco hotel in New York? I'm there!! Is it too early to book reservations??

  13. #58

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    Creativity. Foresight. I'm sure it will be splendid.

    Note these quotes from the above article:

    "The owners, recognizing the value of the hotel's glorious past history"

    "Facelift of the entire front of the hotel on Eighth Avenue - replacing signage, re-facing the stonework, and changing the marquee"

    "We're anchored in a superb location, so we're renewing a once-tired product, infusing it with style and new amenities to unleash its character and make it a hotel in demand,"

    "... a nod to the hotel's past, but with a distinctive modern edge."

    "will open a new chapter in its life once the renovation and refurbishment is complete..."

    Now go back to the Hotel Penn thread. Above are the same ideas many here were advocating for that hotel. Yet we had to hear over and over again, about what a dump it was.

    Well, here you can see what a dreary time-warp dump the New Yorker has become:

    http://www.travelpost.com/hotels/pho..._Yorker/p30698
    http://excitingny.com/nytour/newyorkerhotel34thst.jpg
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/8503162@N02/1109192190/


    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; August 13th, 2007 at 07:38 PM.

  14. #59

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    Say what you will about it, it's been the view out my window for 21 years- I love it,
    (and sadly thanks to Glenwood Mang. I'm about to lose it)! They should have
    left it white, But I enjoy it none the less.



  15. #60
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Last photo very R.Crumb!

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