MID129-19.jpg (38430 bytes) New York Architecture Images- Midtown

New Yorker Hotel


Sugarman & Berger


481 Eighth Ave., bet. W34 and W35.  




Art Deco


three-storey limestone base, a set-back tower of brown brick






The 43-story New Yorker Hotel was built in 1929 and opened its doors on January 2, 1930. Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building (opened in 1931) and the Chrysler Building (opened in 1930), the New Yorker is designed in the Art Deco style that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The building's pyramidal, set-back tower structure largely resembles that of the Empire State Building, which lies just a couple blocks due east on 34th Street. For many years, the New Yorker Hotel was New York's largest hotel.

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the hotel hosted a number of popular Big Bands while notable figures such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and even Fidel Castro stayed here. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327 (where he also died), largely devoting his time to feeding pigeons while occasionally meeting dignitaries. However, by the late 1960s, with both the passing of the Big Band era as well as the construction of more modern hotels, the hotel slowly lost profitability and closed its doors in April 1972.

Different proposals were offered for the use of the building, and in 1975 it was purchased by the Unification Church, who converted the 30th floor into individual apartments for the True Children. Under new management and following extensive renovation, the New Yorker Hotel finally re-opened its doors as a hotel on 1 June 1994. Since 2000 it has been part of the Ramada franchise. The hotel is currently undergoing another phase of major renovations as evidenced by a large stuffed Polar Bear holding a sign that reads "Please Bear Wittus".

The New Yorker Hotel is located at the corner of 8th Ave and 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. It is a fully functioning hotel, featuring spectacular panoramic views of midtown Manhattan from its 39th floor dining lounge. Diners get a sweeping view of landmarks such as the Chrysler Building to the north, the Empire State Building and One Penn Plaza, due east, and lower Manhattan, due south. It is in proximity to Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Macy's and the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Visitors can come by bus, arriving at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, just a few blocks north on 8th Avenue, or by train, as Penn Station is across the street.

The New Yorker Hotel also featured pro wrestling from the Ring of Honor promotion, featuring one of pro-wrestling's most famous matches, Kenta Kobashi (representing Pro Wrestling NOAH from Japan) facing Samoa Joe (representing Ring of Honor) in the Grand Ballroom on October 1, 2005. They would hold their final New Yorker show on June 17, 2006.

Power plant
When initially built the New Yorker Hotel had coal-fired steam boilers and generators sufficient to produce more than 2200 kilowatts of direct current electric power. The hotel's own direct current generators were still in use during the Northeast Blackout of 1965 but by the late 1960's the hotel's power system had been modernized to alternating current.
When built in 1930, this Art Deco hotel was the largest in New York, with 2,500 rooms, 150 launderers, 92 telephone operators, 42 barber chairs, 35 master cooks, 20 manicurists, 10 dining salons, five restaurants and the nation's largest private power plant. 

It was the headquarters for Leo Durocher's Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1941 World Series, and Joe DiMaggio's home-game home. Big bands led by the likes of Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and the Dorsey Brothers played here. Electrical genius Nikola Tesla died in his room here January 7, 1943.

After decades of decline, it was bought by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 1976, and served as its World Universal Church. In 1994, the Church reopened part of the building as a Ramada Inn franchise, under the old name. Woody Allen filmed scenes for Radio Days and Bullets Over Broadway in the ballroom here.

The largest and tallest hotel in NYC at the time of its opening, the 43-storey New Yorker is the quintessential example of the setback style of the Art Deco era. Opened on January 2, 1930 after the expenditure of $22.5 million, it originally incorporated 2,500 rooms, a lavish lobby and two large ballrooms that featured the crest of both the performers and attenders. Other services included the world's largest barber shop and kitchen facilities for 155 cooks and chefs. 

Above a three-storey limestone base, a set-back tower of brown brick rises with the distinctive vertical light courts splitting the facades. 23 elevators service the building, with one for direct entrance to the North Ballroom from the 35th Street entrance. Moreover, one was built to connect the hotel to the tunnels from the subway and the nearby old Pennsylvania Station. To meet the requirements of power generation for the activities, a separate powerplant was incorporated within the basement, including also an early air-conditioning unit. 

Due to lower and lower revenues, the hotel was finally closed in April 1972, to be acquired in 1976 by Rev. Moon's World Unification Church. 

On June 1st, 1994, the New Yorker Hotel Management Co., Inc. returned the building to hotel use by opening it with 178 renovated rooms. After that, the number of the refurbished rooms increased steadily, with the current number of 1,000 rooms reached by the end of the 1990s. The top three floors house 70 large tower suites and on the top is the panoramic Sky Lounge. Since 2000 the New Yorker has been a part of the Ramada hotel chain. 

The New Yorker, a marvel of its day, was the largest hotel in New York with 2,500 rooms. In addition to the ballrooms there were ten private dining "salons" and five restaurants employing 35 master cooks. The barber shop was one of the largest in the world with 42 chairs and twenty manicurists. There were 92 telephone operators and 150 laundry staff washing as many as 350,000 pieces daily. This was all supported by America's largest private power plant, which the New Yorker had installed down in the sub-basements. 
With the arrival of the Big Bands, the stage was set for the "heyday" of the New Yorker Hotel. The famous bands of the day played at the New Yorker, including Benny Goodman, both of the Dorseys and Woody Herman. This atmosphere not only drew in business travelers and tourists, but also attracted the elite of society as well as political figures and business leaders. The Brooklyn Dodgers, with Manager Leo Durocher, headquartered here for the 1941 World Series, and Joe DiMaggio lived here when the Yankees were in town. The 1950's - 60's did not turn out to be as prosperous as previous years, and The New Yorker closed its doors in 1972.
In 1994 a new management team hired a highly professional staff and developed an infrastructure to run a top flight hotel. On June 1st, 1994 The New Yorker Hotel Management Company, Inc. officially re-opened the building with 178 rooms available to the public. With the completion of a five-year renovation program befitting the Hotel's grand history, we now have 1,000 guestrooms available. 
More recent additions include the Tick Tock Diner, LaVigna Ristorante, with delicious Italian cuisine in a warm decor, and a beautiful lobby lounge serving gourmet coffees and luscious pastries. A talented catering department has also been developed to serve the Conference Center and Ballrooms. 
Now New York City is experiencing a boom in tourism and business travel. With the Jacob Javits Convention Center just a few blocks away, coupled with the sales and marketing efforts of the Hotel's in-house staff and the 34th Street Business Improvement District, the West Side of Manhattan, particularly the 34th 
Steet corridor, has become increasingly desirable. All this and a lot of hard work is quickly bringing the New Yorker Hotel to the forefront of New York City's hospitality business. 

A 1941 New York City hotel receipt inspires a Brookfield man's
romantic notion for a first-rate
Second Honeymoon

By Scott Radway

When Nat Sussman found the receipt from his honeymoon stay at the Hotel New Yorker in 1941, he was struck by a romantic notion: With his 57th wedding anniversary coming up, why not return to the same hotel for old time's sake? Sussman was struck by another idea: Just for the novelty, why not call the hotel and see if it would honor the 1941 room rate? So, at the height of hotel season, Nat Sussman and his wife, Irma, will stay in the Manhattan hotel again for just $5.50 a night. The 1998 rate is $225.

"How could you not grant that man's request?" said the hotel's front desk manager Richard Murphy. "It just doesn't happen every day." "Who would have ever thought the receipt would come in handy," asked 77-year-old Nat Sussman, adding that Murphy's initial reaction sounded "as if I was calling from the grave." For historical perspective, the Sussmans were married a week after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Now, parking, at $22.50 a day, will cost them more than the room. Adding to the delight, the Sussmans have been booked in the same room they stayed in on their wedding day, Dec. 14, and on Dec. 15. "Room 2524," said the enamored Nat Sussman.

But the hotel at 8th Avenue and 34th Street has gone through some changes. Their old room was renovated from one bedroom to a spacious suite. "I've never stayed in a suite before," said 75-year-old Irma Sussman. "It's so exciting." The hotel will be at least 95 percent full until Dec. 19, said Murphy. Nonetheless, the Sussmans will stay Dec. 13 and 14. "He (Murphy) said we could leave whenever we wanted," said Irma Sussman. "He's a wonderful angel," said Nat Sussman. The Sussmans' daughter, Alexandra, will drive the couple to the hotel, stay in their room on a pull-out bed and show them around the city for the two days. Irma Sussman said she and her husband didn't know what to when they were in Manhattan the first time, but now, with her city-smart daughter as chaperone they expect to see all the sights.

"We were just kids then," said Irma Sussman. She was 18, he was 20. Nat Sussman, who entered the Army a year after his wedding, and served until 1946, said he's a "little nervous" about returning to Manhattan.

Although the couple lived in Brooklyn after they were married and then moved to Syosset, Long Island, where Nat Sussman built a successful career as a uniform salesman, they have not been back to Manhattan since 1941.

Nat Sussman said he found out recently that Radio City Music Hall doesn't show movies any more. Alexandra Sussman has purchased tickets for them to see "The Phantom of the Opera" at the Majestic Theatre on Monday, their anniversary day.

Irma Sussman said she thought most of Broadway was normally closed on Mondays. "It's like a message from above," she said. "It's like it's open just for us." If all goes well, said Nat Sussman, maybe they'll go back for their 60th anniversary, too—if the rate's still reasonable.

The Sussmans retired years ago and moved from Syosett to Rollingwood Condominiums in Brookfield.

From a 1938 brochure for the New Yorker Hotel.

A pictorial review of the New Yorker, Manhattan's largest and tallest hotel, located at 8th Avenue and 34th Street, New York City. Ralph Hitz, Managing Director. A vertical village, where every vote of the citizens sends two thousand servants scurrying to satisfy their daily whims, is making history in the heart of New York. This town, which rises instead of spreads, reaches 43 stories toward the skies at Thirty-fourth Street and Eighth Avenue—The New Yorker, Manhattan's largest and tallest hotel. The New Yorker is a vertical city, for without stretching a point to make a phrase, it includes everything that any town has—and in many aspects, much more. 

Bellmen smart as West Pointers on parade reach for your bags when you enter the lobby through the tunnel from the Pennsylvania station or step off the B. and O. railroad motor coach at the door. In this great hospitable lobby you immediately sense the luxury and completeness of New York's biggest hotel. Everything moves swiftly and smoothly, without friction or flurry twenty clerks are on duty at the huge front desk and it seems to be only a moment until you are registered and on the way to your room.

The season is the only limit on your appetite in the Terrace Restaurant, known in millions of homes throughout the United States through the four-nights-a-week broadcasts over the nation-wide chains of the National Broadcasting Company. Its simple elegance makes it outstanding among dining salons. The superb service here is entirely a la carte, except at breakfast, when there is a seventy-five cent club meal, and at luncheon when club luncheons are featured at various prices. This restaurant is open again at six for breakfast.

World-famous orchestras interpret the syncopated rhythms of today nightly through the dinner hour and during supper in the Terrace Restaurant, except Sunday when there is dancing only at dinner. There is no cover at dinner; after ten o'clock at night it is one dollar except on Saturdays and holidays when it is two. A concert orchestra plays during luncheon. Made-to-order weather cools this room, as it does all the other New Yorker restaurants and public rooms, so on even the hottest days of summer you can dine and dance without the slightest degree of discomfort. 

The Manhattan Room is a delightfully informal restaurant, opening off the main lobby, where the matchless quality of the food is equaled only by the swift, unobtrusive service. Here, also, you find that elusive modern note characteristic of The New Yorker. The walls are built of Persian Walnut, inlaid with solid bronze, and the windows, facing Thirty-fourth Street, are notable for the exquisite craftsmanship of their carved glass. Prices are reasonable with club dinners at $1.50 to $2.00 and luncheons at 75 cents to $1.25.

Down in great kitchens that cover an acre of floor space, one hundred and thirty-five of the world's most famous cooks have dedicated their lives to the service of your appetite. Here is delivered each day the choice of the world's finest food products to be made into palate-pleasing delights for the 10,000 appetites which daily endorse The New Yorker's cuisine. Even the breads, pastries and ice creams are made by our chefs, in these kitchens that are as sweet and clean as mother's cookie jar.

In the Empire Tea Room there is all the grace and charm of France under the Napoleonic era which inspired its green and gold decorations. Bright-faced girls in quaint French provincial costumes serve you breakfast, luncheon, dinner or supper. Here there is a soda fountain and here, too, is the New Yorker Candy Shop where you will find New Yorker Bonbonettes, the delicious new French candies. Food prices are reasonable—breakfast 35 cents and up; luncheon 75 cents; dinner one dollar; supper a la carte.Quick counter service is provided for you in the Coffee Shop, located in the lower lobby. It is open until nine o'clock each night. Breakfast is a la carte; luncheon is 60 cents and dinner is 90 cents. In the Coffee Shop the food is served in all the delicious variety of the other three restaurants, for regardless of what you pay or in what restaurant you dine at The New Yorker you are assured of the same high quality and wholesome flavor. The Coffee Shop has an entrance to Eighth Avenue as well as a lobby entrance. 

Twenty-three elevators, speeding at 800 feet a minute, travel 900 miles a day to carry you up to your room. All are self-leveling and automatic and they represent an investment of three-quarters of a million dollars. Operating at fully capacity they could transport the entire population of a city of 200,000 people in twenty-four hours. A special elevator serves the four function floors and another special elevator connects the lobby to the Pennsylvania station tunnel and to the new Eighth Avenue subway express when completed
Priceless murals, gold-illumined ceilings, carved glass and inlaid Persian walnut have been deftly adapted for the modern setting of the Grand Ballroom. 
The foyer opens into the lobby mezzanine and a grand staircase connects it conveniently to the lobby itself. The Grand Ballroom accommodates 800 at a luncheon or diner and 1000 for dance or meeting. The balcony is accessible from both the ballroom floor and the function lounges on the third floor. The ballroom and other public rooms are air-cooled in summer. 
Modern beauty and luxurious appointments distinguish the lounges and foyers. The very mode of the moment is mirrored in the striking decorations which reflect all the spirit and smartness of today. The spacious ballroom foyer on the second floor is decorated with murals by Louis Jambor, who also painted the murals for the lobby and Grand Ballroom. Third floor lounges open into the ballroom balcony, the beauty salon and private dinning salons A, B and C. And here are many quiet corners with restful chairs and deep, comfortable divans where you may meet your friends. 
The North Ballroom conveys an atmosphere of formal elegance. Essentially in the modern note it is a perfect locale for either social or business occasions. It accommodates three hundred and thirty persons for a luncheon or dinner and four hundred at a dance or meeting. Special service kitchens provide quick, flawless service to the two ballrooms. The North Ballroom also is air-cooled and is quickly accessible from the lobby by a grand stairway and the lobby mezzanine. It also is served by the special function elevator from the Thirty-fifth street entrance of the Hotel.
The ten private dining salons, located conveniently on the third and fourth floors, accommodate from twenty-five to one hundred and fifty persons for a meeting, luncheon, dinner or dance. The private dining rooms also are served by the special function elevator and are connected with special banquet kitchens to provide quick, smooth service. The decorations have been carried out in varied period motifs and the furnishings are striking examples of contemporary beauty and luxury. 
Every bedroom has a radio loud speaker with a choice of four programs; both tub and shower bath; Servidor; circulating ice water; hand telephone; bed-head reading lamps; full-length mirror and full-sized beds. Every room has two or more windows and all rooms are outside and flooded with light and air. Floor secretaries on each floor take your messages when you are out and prevent the annoyance of standing in crowded lines in the lobby to receive your mail and keys. 

The New Yorker has more than one hundred suites consisting of a parlor and one bedroom or a parlor and two bedrooms. The parlors have radio and Servidor. Some have disappearing beds and an extra bath. Others have private sky-terraces or roof gardens. Suites are available for as little as eleven dollars a day. Bedroom rates start at $3.50 a day for one person; $5.00 a day and up for two persons with double bed; and $5.50 a day up to two persons with twin beds. Rates are fixed and are posted in each room. 

Bathrooms are marvels of modern beauty and convenience. The walls are finished in black and sea-green tiling and the fixtures are in chromium nickel. The towel racks above the medicine cabinet are generously filled with extra large bath, face and hand towels and a special radiator keeps the room comfortably warm in the winter. There is a double socket bedside the mirror to connect curling irons or massage machine. 

Many suites open into sky-terraces where you can literally say "Good morning, Mr. Sun!" from these private roof gardens the whole vivid, far-flung panorama of New York lies at your feet in an animated tapestry of magic color and up here, a tenth of a mile above the street, you seem to be in a world apart. Far below you the lights of Times Square paint the darkness with splashes of flame and the Hudson cuts through the twilight haze like a silver ribbon. Room service will serve your dinner on your terrace if you wish.

The exquisite luxury and the compelling beauty of the ladies' lounge on the third floor are delightfully refreshing. An unusual feature is a series of tiny "powdering rooms" where milady, assisted by specially-trained French maids, can apply her cosmetics with the same privacy she finds in her our boudoir, and here also is a commodious checkroom for ladies attending functions in the ballrooms and dining salons and adjoining it is one of the famous Terminal Beauty Salons. The public stenographer's office is outside.

The beauty salon is truly a dream of green and orchid and silver. Walls of mosaic tiles in mauve and ivory and blue! Curtains of apple green shot with gleaming silver ivory chairs smartly upholstered in shiny patent black leather. And throughout this salon you will find the smooth perfection and correctness of service that characterizes truly authentic fashion. A shampoo? A wave? A facial? Each takes on a thrilling new loveliness under the skilled fingers of any of the thirty-two attendants. Open from nine a.m. till seven p.m. 

And here is the largest barber shop in the world! Forty-two chairs and twenty manicurists. Seldom do you have to wait here, but if you want to be sure to have a barber ready for you, make an appointment by telephone from your room. The shop is operated by the Terminal Barber Shops, Inc., whose twenty years of experience in the nation's greatest cities enable them to perform the ten-point Terminal promise of the most perfect and hygienic standards in modern barbering practice. The shop is located in the lower lobby. 

A quarter of a million-dollar radio system gives you entertainment and diversion in your room at the turn of a dial. The elaborate receiving apparatus, containing seventy-two tubes, gives you a choice of four programs. Special apparatus enables us to bring you programs from foreign counties. Twenty-five miles of wires carry the programs to the 2500 loudspeakers in the rooms and to the amplifies in the ballrooms, private dining salons and other public rooms. The volume of sound from the speakers is automatically controlled to prevent guests from being annoyed by noise.

The New Yorker's private laundry with its one hundred and fifty employees and half-million dollars worth of machinery is capable of handling the entire family washing and ironing of a city of thirty thousand. It not only launders the thirty-two acres of sheets, the sixty-five miles of toweling and the other three hundred thousand pieces of linen used in the hotel, but a special guest department enables you to have your own laundry back in your room before six o'clock at night if the laundry receives it before ten in the morning. The valet department gives you half-hour service on pressing night and day.

Seventy-eight feet below the sidewalk is the largest private power plant in the world. Five steam engines and oil-burning Diesel engine produce enough light, heat, power and refrigeration for the average city of thirty-five thousand people. Compressed air forces pulverized coal under the furnaces and blows the ashes out again. The engineering equipment includes the air-cleaning machinery which draws in air on the roof, washes and purifies it, and then forces it down into the restaurant, lobby, ballrooms and other public spaces.

The nimble fingers and quick minds of ninety-five telephones operators handle ninety-one incoming trunk lines, thirty-eight outgoing trunk lines and ten direct long-distance trunk lines in the huge telephone exchange on the forty-first floor. The system includes thirty-two hundred phones. In addition to this tremendous telephone system, the communication facilities of branch offices of both Western Union and Postal Telegraph are at your service in the main lobby. Messages for you in your absence from your room are taken by floor secretaries. 

Located at Thirty-fourth Street and Eighth Avenue, The New Yorker is quickly accessible from the Holland Tunnel and the Jersey Tubes. A tunnel connects it to the Pennsylvania and Long Island trains and I.R.T. subways systems. When the new Eighth Avenue subway is completed in 1931 there will be express station almost within the hotel. The theatrical district and smart shops are a stone's throw away; the important piers nearby. 

Almost every other service or convenience is found within the four walls of The New Yorker. A ten-room hospital on the fourth floor is open night and day; a theater ticket office buys amusement tickets at legal rates; the transportation department obtains your steamship, airways and railroad tickets; the flower shop and candy shop will deliver gifts anywhere; and for your convenience there are several shops on the lobby floor.