5. The New Yorker Hotel Archives

new-yorker-hotel-secrets-power-plant-basement-joe-kinney-archives-floor-plan-nyc_1Original architectural plans for the New Yorker Hotel

On his own initiative, Kinney has collected over 4,000 historical images of the New Yorker Hotel for the archive and museum, among other memorabilia like menus, original mail chutes, signage and much more. Kinney was able to track down the original floor plan drawings which were no longer in the collection of the hotel when the building was sold to the Unification Church in 1976. They were given to an architect and someone who had them gave Kinney a call and offered them to the archive. They are massive at 4 feet by 5 feet.

In a hallway area in the hotel, Kinney has framed and written out important parts of the history of the hotel, to the backdrop of jazz age music. This includes not only the technological advancements, but also information about famous guests ranging from Muhammad Ali to the Reverent Moon.

He has a high quality scanner and keeps a meticulous online archive, constantly looking for new memorabilia that comes available. There’s an order to the madness of the physical collections of his two room archive and office – a Tesla section, a portion on the Big Bands who have performed and recorded there, a section of the original menus printed by the hotel. He’s currently working on a book about the New Yorker Hotel, even doing the layout of the book himself.