8. The Lotte New York Palace was originally planned as an office building

The lobby of the Lotte Palace New York Palace Hotel.

In 1980, architect firm Emery Roth & Sons completed a tower that would become part of the lasting silhouette of the Palace Hotel. Richart Roth Jr., Emery Roth’s son, told Untapped New York that in 1972, Emery Roth finished the drawings for a version of the tower that was intended to become an office building. But that same year, “banks had stopped loaning money” because there was “no work” in the city, according to Roth.

When Roth and developer Harry Helmsley tried to get a loan to build the office building tower above the Villiard houses, they were denied and told that there were already too many office buildings in the city. The failure to obtain a loan came during the era of “stagflation” and an emerging recession. Nobody wanted to build office buildings, so Harry Helmsley decided to build a hotel.