4. The American Radiator Building is Home to a Sub-Basement Movie Theater
The American Radiator Building, following its conversion into the Bryant Park Hotel, now houses 130 rooms and a 73-seat movie theater with black leather seats. The sub-basement screening room is a popular fixture of the hotel, but building it was no easy feat. The construction team had to dig 45 feet into bedrock as the water table in the surrounding area was quite high due to displacement caused by the subterranean book stacks of the New York Public Library located beneath Bryant Park.
According to project manager Constantine Fotos, a series of pumps and underground drainage systems were implemented in order to build the theater — and “not a swimming pool.” The excavation process caused a seven-month delay in the hotel’s opening.
Read more about the New York Public Library’s subterranean stacks here.