9. The Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania Was Converted into a Television Studio

historic ballroom
McKim, Mead & White. (circa 1919). Page No. 012 – Ball Room. Columbia Digital Library Collections

In 1995, the hotel’s grand ballroom was converted into a television studio. The space was leased by Image Group, which spent $6 million on construction and equipment. The room’s 30-foot high ceilings and lack of support columns made it ideal for building out a studio.

Shows such as The People’s Court, Maury, and Sally Jessy Raphael were shot there throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2009, the studio was condensed to 10,000 square feet and converted for a short-lived sitcom called Sherri starting Sherri Sheperd.