2. The Door to the Knickerbocker Hotel

door to the Knickerbocker Hotel
Former entrance to the Knickerbocker Hotel.

The Times Square station is full of hidden gems and details that commuters pass by every day and the former entrance to the Knickerbocker Hotel is one of its most interesting. A doorway with “Knickerbocker” cast in metal sits inconspicuously on the platform, the bold lettering the only indication of anything exceptional.

The Knickerbocker Hotel was one of New York City’s most glamorous spots. Built in 1906 by fur trade magnate John Jacob Astor, the hotel was at the center of the elegance and opulence of the Gilded Age. Commuters could go through the door in the station and find themselves in the hotel’s bar (rumored to be where the Martini was invented). The hotel was renovated and is now a member of Leading Hotels of the World, but the doorway that used to be an entrance to a different world has been sealed shut.