7. Many Important Decisions and Meetings Were Held In The Hotel Rooms

After establishing itself as a gathering place for writers in the Roaring ’20s, the Algonquin continued to be a meeting place and home to many writers and artists, boasting famous guests such as JD Salinger, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and Tallulah Bankhead. Many who came even penned some of their work in the hotel rooms.

On March 25, 1936, members of the New York Drama Critics Circle sat in one of the Algonquin’s rooms, intensely deliberating for three hours to choose a winner for the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. The award was presented to Maxwell Anderson’s play “Winterset” one week later at a reception held at the hotel.

In 1956, when Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe were composing the music for My Fair Ladymusic flowed out of suite 908 for days. They even worked 24 hours straight to write “I Could Have Danced All Night,” which prompted a threat by Ben Bodne, owner at the time, to remove the piano from the room if they didn’t quite down.

1950, William Faulkner wrote his Nobel Peace Prize speech in his suite. Faulkner received the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in 1949 “for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel.” The speech he wrote at the hotel can be read here.

Maya Angelou stayed at the Algonquin whenever she came to New York for an appearance, and although she may not have written something in the hotel rooms themselves, she did write the screenplay adapted from her memoir I know Why the Caged Bird Sings on Algonquin Stationary.