The Wyndham New Yorker Hotel is a hotel located at 481 Eighth Avenue in New York City, United States. The 43-story Art Deco hotel, opened 1930.
Is a 1083-room, mid-priced hotel located in Manhattan’s Garment District and Hell’s Kitchen areas, near Pennsylvania Station, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. The 1,000,000-square-foot (93,000-square-metre) building offers two restaurants and approximately 33,000 square feet (3,100 m2) of conference space. Since re-opening as a hotel in 1994, it has undergone approximately $100 million in capital improvements, including lobby and room renovations and infrastructure modernization. The Unification Church purchased the building in 1975, and since 2014, it has been part of the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts chain.
The New Yorker Hotel was built by Garment Center developer Mack Kanner. When the project was announced in 1928, the Sugarman and Berger designed building was planned to be 38 stories, at an estimated cost of $8 million. However, when it was completed in 1929, the building had grown to 43 stories, at a final cost of $22.5 million and contained 2,500 rooms, making it the city’s largest for many years. Hotel management pioneer, Ralph Hitz, was selected as its first manager, eventually becoming president of the National Hotel Management Company. An early ad for the building boasted that the hotel’s “bell boys were ‘as snappy-looking as West Pointers'” and “that it had a radio in every room with a choice of four stations”. It was a New Yorker bellboy, Johnny Roventini, who served as tobacco company Philip Morris‘ pitchman for twenty years, making famous their “Call for Philip Morris” advertising campaign.
The hotel opened on January 2, 1930. Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building (1931) and the Chrysler Building (1930), the New Yorker was designed in the Art Deco style which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. 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 addition to the ballrooms, there were ten private dining “salons” and five restaurants employing 35 master cooks. The barber shop was one of the largest in the world with 42 chairs and 20 manicurists. There were 92 “telephone girls” and 150 laundry staff washing as many as 350,000 pieces daily.