Wyndham Hotel Group is now operating New York City’s historic 43-story New Yorker Hotel. With 1,083 guest rooms, the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel becomes the largest property in the brand’s portfolio.
The Art Deco style hotel, located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan at Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, was opened by Garment Center developer, Mack Kanner in 1930. It contained 2,500 rooms, making it the city’s largest for many years.
In his book, New York 1930, Robert A. M. Stern said the “New Yorker’s virtually unornamented facades consisted of alternating vertical bands of warm gray brick and windows, yielding an impression of boldly modeled masses. This was furthered by the deep-cut light courts, which produced a powerful play of light and shade that was enhanced by dramatic lighting at night”.
In its heyday, the hotel was among New York’s most fashionable and hosted many popular Big Bands and celebrities, including Nikola Tesla, who spent the last ten years of his life in there. A plaque, hanging on the building, memorializes the inventor.
The hotel’s ownership changed several times. By 1972, struggling to compete with more modern hotels, Hilton closed the building. It was acquired three years later by the Unification Church of the United States who converted much of the building for use by its members.
When initially built the New Yorker Hotel had coal-fired steam boilers and generators that could produce more than 2,200 kilowatts of direct current electric power. At the time this was the largest private power plant in the United States. By the late 1960s the hotel’s power system had been modernized to alternating current. A bronze plaque commemorating the achievement was presented to the hotel by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) naming the hotel’s direct current power plant a Milestone in Electrical Engineering.
In 1994, the Unification Church converted part of the building into a hotel again and the New Yorker Hotel Management Company took over operations. It began the largest renovation project in the building’s history, completed in 1999, with $20 million in capital improvements. The hotel joined the Ramada chain in 2000.
In August 2007, the hotel began a second capital improvement program, which was completed in February 2009 at a final cost of $70 million. These improvements increased the number of guest rooms available to 912 from just 178 in 1994, located on floors 19 through 40. Improvements included a refurbished front entrance, lobby redesign, foyer reconstruction, and ballroom renovations. In addition, individual room air-conditioning units were replaced with modern centralized heating and cooling systems throughout the entire hotel.
Currently, as part of the Wyndham Hotels brand, a new multi-million dollar renovation is underway to upgrade all guest rooms, public spaces and meeting facilities. Upon completion of renovations, meeting and event space will increase to over 30,000 square feet.
“The New Yorker Hotel is an iconic mainstay that is synonymous with one of the greatest cities in the world,” said Keith Pierce, executive vice president of brand operations for Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,490 hotels. “This key landmark greatly strengthens the Wyndham brand’s profile in this important market.”
Photo credit: Wikipedia User Bramstercate