Hotel Pennsylvania entrance

The Hotel Pennsylvania is quietly disappearing and will soon be gone forever. Despite efforts to preserve the historic building, and previous hopeful announcements of renovation, demolition of the Hotel Pennsylvania is now more than halfway complete. Interior demolition began in 2022. Designed by the illustrious firm of McKim, Mead, and White as a companion to the original Penn Station, the hotel opened in 1919 on Seventh Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Here, we uncover the secrets of the Hotel Pennsylvania, soon to be another New York City building relegated to the history books:

1. It was Once the Largest Hotel in the World

Hotel Pennsylvania sketch
From the New York Public Library, front page of the opening day menu

When the Hotel Pennsylvania closed permanently in April 2020, it was the fourth largest hotel in New York City, a pretty impressive stat. But when it opened on January 25th, 1919, it was the largest hotel in the world. Rising 22 stories, the hotel boasted 2,200 rooms, each which its own private bath as an ad in the Chicago Tribune noted. It cost $10 million to build. A crowd of 3,000 visitors flocked to the hotel on opening day.

Remnants of Penn Station

Original Penn Station

The second-largest hotel was also a New York City building, according to the New York Times. The Hotel Commodore near Grand Central Terminal had 200 fewer rooms. Hotel Pennsylvania was surpassed in size by the New Yorker Hotel in 1930. The New Yorker soared 43 stories and had over 2,500 rooms.