Built in the roaring twenties by Sugerman & Berger, but opened during the great depression, the New Yorker has lived in the heart of Manhattan on 8th avenue between 34th and 35th streets.
Upon completion in 1930, the New Yorker Hotel was the largest in NYC, boasting five restaurants, a 42-chair salon, 92 telephone operators, and a laundry staff of 150.
In its prime, the New Yorker Hotel hosted celebrities, athletes, politicians, actors and mobsters. Nikola Tesla called Suite 3327 home for the last 10 years of his life, eventually dying there in 1943. The New Yorker hotel also played host to JFK, Joan Crawford, Mohammad Ali, Fidel Castro and more.
As they say, “nothing gold can stay”…the New Yorker closed its doors in April of 1972 due to a decline in the economy, and the emergence of more modern hotels in the area.
By 1975, the Unification Church of the United States purchased the hotel as a place to stay for its members. In the 1990s, the Unification Church formed the New York Hotel Management Company and opened the top 10 floors to tourists as the New Yorker Hotel.
The hotel has also played host for a renowned professional wrestling match between Kenta Kobashi and Samoa Joe. The match took place in their grand ballroom on October 1, 2005.
According to Crain’s New York, the hotel is currently under a new 5-year renovation project that started in 2013. The first phase of this project was kick-started by a $30 million investment, and Wyndham hopes to shift the hotel towards business travellers instead of its history of celebrity clientele. After renovations, the New Yorker hotel will be the third largest in New York City.