Hotel Piccadilly (Marriot Times Square) 1928-1982
Hotel Piccadilly: toast of the Theater District
New York hotels go in and out of style just like clubs and bars, and
once they outlive their usefulness, the get a date with the wrecking
That’s the story of the Hotel Piccadilly. Its era as a hot place to book
a room or meet for a drink was from the 1930s to the 1950s.
With about 700 rooms on West 45th Street, it was in the heart of the
Theater District. “Smartly located in the center of everything” was its
very midcentury-sounding slogan.
The Piccadilly also had the Piccadilly Circus Lounge, “gaily colorful
spot in the thick of theaterdom patronized by show folk and show goers,”
states a 1949 restaurant guide, Knife and Fork in New York.
It’s no surprise, of course, that when Times Square and midtown west
went downhill, so did nearby hotels like the Piccadilly.
In 1982, it was torn down—and the Marriott Marquis built on its old
"At Your Service in New York City/600 Rooms all with private bath and
radio/Television available/ From $4.50 Single From $7.00 Double/ Home of
the Famous Piccadilly Circus Lounge," reads a 1953 tourist brochure for
the Piccadilly Hotel.
Named after London’s Piccadilly Street, the hey-day of New York's Hotel
Piccadilly was in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. The hotel was in the heart
of the Theater District, "smartly located in the center of everything"
as its mid-century slogan went. A hot spot for theater folk and show
goers, the Piccadilly Circus Lounge was a "gaily colorful spot in the
thick of theaterdom," according to the 1949 restaurant guide Knife and
The Theater District experienced a decline in the 1960s and ‘70s that
greatly affected the Hotel Piccadilly. The area around Times Square was
no longer the ritzy, exciting area it had once been and came to be
considered seedy and run-down. The Hotel Piccadilly was not the only
casualty of this neighborhood decline. Many other hotels and restaurants
were forced to close their doors as tourists simply did not want to stay
in Times Square anymore. In 1982, the Hotel Piccadilly was slated to be
Before the hotel’s date with the wrecking ball, a mold manufacturer from
Detroit named Joseph Bianco paid $40,000 for the hotel's
crystal-chandeliered Georgian Ballroom, dating from 1928. Five workmen
were sent to dismantle the entire ballroom, including sixteen still-lifes
and eight Victorian-style portraits painted on the room’s pine paneling.
These pieces were then shipped to Detroit and rebuilt for their new
The site where the Hotel Piccadilly once stood is currently the Marriott