Saturday, May 15, 2010

Roosevelt Hotel

Madison Avenue at 45th Street

A Grand Dame of Madison Avenue since 1924, the building spans a full city block on Madison Avenue across from Grand Central Terminal. Named after President Theodore Roosevelt, this midtown hotel was built as part of the thriving Grand Central Terminal City project of the 1920s and is the only one of the group still operating in its original form. The Roosevelt Hotel was linked with Grand Central Station by way of an underground passage that once connected the hotel directly to the train terminal.

In 1996 the hotel underwent a $65-million top to bottom renovation of its public spaces and all 1,015 of its rooms. The hotel recently added a rooftop lounge that operates under the name “mad46.”

Guy Lombardo performed “Auld Lang Syne” for the first time in the hotel’s Roosevelt Grill, and Lawrence Welk began his career here.

The Roosevelt Hotel has been seen in several major motion pictures, including “Maid in Manhattan” starring Jennifer Lopez, “Wall Street,” “Quiz Show,” and “The French Connection.” The hotel is currently owned by Pakistani Airlines.


Peter Dillon said...

I have been following the four famed New York Central Hotels since the early 1970's.They always seemed to me to have a sense of location and public draw if reinvested in and run properly. The Roosevelt Hotel retains this value.
Designed by George B. Post & Son and opened under the United Hotel Group on September 22,1924 The Roosevelt was the first hotel to place store fronts into its facade design instead of lounges do to the prohibition era.Also the hotel boast the frist pet and child day care " The Teddy Bear Room" for the later.
In 1927 Guy Lombardo moved into the Roosevelt Grill ( staying until 1958) playing his tunes broadcast live into every room a by radio / intercom system.
A 125' radio tower was installed on The Roosevelt and Hugo Gernsback (Hugo Awards fame)aired his show on the 18th floor from Radio News New York (WRNY) off the cuff people believed the call letters stud for Roosevelt New York.
Thomas Dewey lived in room 1527 when away from his farm in upstate New York.
On March 4th, 1929 United Hotels merged with Bowman-Biltmore Group operaters of the The Belmont , Biltmore ,Commodore, Murray Hill and Astonia Hotels,adding The Roosevelt gave the merger over 8,000 rooms in New York City.
In December 1934 Bowman-Biltmore filed for bankrupty and it remains unclear when The Realty Hotel Group owned by The New York Central Railroad took command of The Biltmore,Roosevelt ,& Commodore Hotels adding the Barclay to the mix.
In 1968 The New York Central Railroad merged with The Pennsylvania Railroad forming Penn-Central whom now ran the Realty Group.
In a 1975 article in Promenade Magazine Realty tells of a muli-million dollar refurbishment of all four hotels with The Biltmore leading with an 86% redo and Roosevelt at 69%.
Victor Palmieri an was sent to Penn-Central to over see all non railroad assets and in 1977 The Barclay ,The Biltmore ,and The Roosevelt were sold to Lowes Corporation in a bid process.Lowes sold all Hotels right away .The Biltmore and Roosevelt to Paul Milstein Group which partnered The Roosevelt with King Faisal, the later taking control of Roosevelt Hotel NV in 1999.

Peter Dillon said...

I found a book by Conrad Hilton called "Be My Guest".
Conrad had been stalking the hotel business in New York City for so time and when he made up his mind he purchased The Roosevelt Hotel in 1943 "because it's a fine hotel and the lobby reminded him of the vast open spaces of San Antonio". Later this same year he would also puschase The Plaza and a few years later The Waldrof-Astoria.
Conrad eventually purchased The Statler Hotel chain which included The New York Statler and in Feburary 1957 The United States Justice Department dealing with the new anti-trust laws (Trustbusters)forced Conrad to sell The Roosevelt in New York and The Hotel Jefferson in St. Louis.