The New Yorker Hotel was designed in the Art Deco style by the architectural firm Sugarman & Berger. While the hotel was constructed between 1929 and 1930, the height of the Art Deco period, the exterior doesn’t exude the tell-tale, showy Art Deco ornamentation and details. Instead, it follows the buttoned up, yet still decisively Art Deco Style.
In Art Deco of the 20s and 30s, English author and historian Bevis Hillier described Art Deco as “an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production.”
The New Yorker Hotel is 43 stories tall with light courts cutting into the building on all 4 sides, which sharply contrast the warm gray brick and dark windows. Each side is symmetrical to itself, and varies slightly from the other sides – thus following the “symmetry rather than asymmetry” that Hillier pointed out. The only other detail on the exterior that screams Art Deco is the intricately designed brass door that was once the Manufacturer’s Hanover Bank Branch entrance.
The two-story lobby is dripping in Art Deco. The centerpiece is an enormous chandelier, and the three out of the five tiers are covered with beautiful glass cylinders and gold details. There are similar cylinder lighting elements centered on the columns on the perimeter of the lobby. The almost one-story chandelier hangs from an intricate gold ceiling in the center of the room. The balcony railings are glass panes framed in brass and etched with an elaborate design. Even the font used for the large signs is in the Art Deco style.
For the New Yorker Hotel archidoodle I decided to include elements from the brass bank door, the railing etching and some of the chandelier details. Together they are reminiscent of an Art Deco piece of jewelry.
Did You Know: Art Deco was called Art Moderne until 1968. Bevis Hillier’s book Art Deco of the 20s and 30s, focused on the neglected genre of art. As a follow-up to the book, Hillier curated an Art Deco show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, which also helped bring much deserved attention to the style.
Have a great week!