Photo via Wally Gobetz/Flickr
You know that Old King Cole had a pipe and bowl, but did you know he also had a cloak and dagger? New York’s hyper-illustrious St. Regis Hotel, home to the famous King Cole Bar, has a clandestine pedigree that goes straight to its core. Founded by a family of spies, the Hotel became headquarters for the nation’s wartime spy service, and in the process helped inspire not only the Bloody Mary cocktail but also the Invasion of North Africa.
Read on for the history of Midtown’s preeminent spy den
Photo via Wikimedia
The Chinese government has taken control over debt-ridden Anbang Insurance Group, a Beijing-based firm known for snatching up prominent properties around the world for billions of dollars. One of those high-profile properties includes New York City’s iconic Waldorf Astoria, which the group purchased for $1.95 billion in 2014. According to the New York Times, the government takeover comes after Abang violated regulations, although the exact violations committed are unclear so far. Anbang will be overseen for one year by a group that includes China’s central bank, the country’s securities and banking regulator, the regular of foreign exchanges and other government agencies.
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Proposed renderings courtesy of ODA Architects
Perhaps piggybacking on the positive reaction to their Rheingold Brewery project, ODA Architects have revealed renderings for another Brooklyn project with a central courtyard, sloping green roof, and stepped terraces. First spotted by CityRealty, the proposed views depict the Bedford Hotel at 1550 Bedford Avenue in Crown Heights, a five-story, 100-key development at 1550 Bedford Avenue. And according to plans submitted to the DOB, there will be a rooftop bar and a banquet hall and retail/restaurant spaces on the ground floor.
More details and renderings ahead
Image: Trump Soho; Donald Trump via Wikimedia Commons
After an 11-year economic slump, local protests and multiple lawsuits, the Trump Soho condominium and hotel at 246 Spring Street has officially become the Dominick Hotel and Spa. Last month, the Trump Organization cut ties with the property after making a deal with the building’s owner, CIM Group, to step away from the hotel amid a decline in room prices. Between 11 pm on Wednesday and 3 am on Thursday, workers removed the Trump Soho lettering from the facade of the glitzy 46-story hotel, literally erasing President Trump’s association with the building.
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Image courtesy of MCR and Morse Development; Photo: Max Touhey.
MCR and Morse Development announced this week the topping out of the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport less than a year after breaking ground on the project. Designed by celebrated 20th-century architect Eero Saarinen in 1962, The hotel is set to reopen in early 2019, when it will become JFK’s only on-airport hotel. Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center terminal building will serve as the hotel’s lobby; at 200,000 square feet, it is thought to be the world’s largest hotel lobby. Hotel guests and passengers will be able to access the hotel through the famous Saarinen passenger tubes that connect directly to JFK’s Terminal 5 as well as through via the AirTrain system.
Find out more about the rebirth of this mid-century modern icon
Sky lounge floating high above the Lincoln Tunnel entrance at AC Hudson Yards Hotel (Credit: Danny Forster Design Studio).
Last year, 6sqft reported that demolition permits were filed by developer Arisa Realty to make way for a hotel that will rise amidst the rapidly-growing Hudson Yards development in far west Midtown, with Epstein Global listed as the architect of record. Now, CityRealty reports that preliminary renderings have appeared on the website of Danny Forster, host of the Discovery Channel show “Build It Bigger,” who is working with the architects on the project’s design. Plans have beens submitted for a 220-key, 120,000-square-foot hotel at 432 West 31st Street, and the the unconfirmed renderings refer to the AC Hotel Hudson Yards (Marriott AC is a subsidiary of Marriott Hotels for which the Hudson Yards hotel would represent one of the first forays into the U.S. market).
Renderings this way
Image: Trump Soho; Donald Trump via Wikimedia Commons.
New York City has never, barring perhaps a short stretch of the go-go ’80s, been Trump country. But the Trump Organization’s high-profile Midtown properties blend with the area’s flow of international money and glamour-seeking tourists. Much further downtown, the Trump Soho condominium/hotel at 246 Spring Street has been at best a minor embarrassment in the neighborhood since the ambitious announcement of its birth on Donald J. Trump’s TV show “The Apprentice” 11 years ago. Now, what was launched as “an awe-inspiring masterpiece,” is being severed from the Trump fold, the New York Times reports. In addition to poor economic performance, the 46-story luxury hotel has attracted opposition from locals since its arrival, protests during Trump’s candidacy and scrutiny after the election due to its ties to a Russian dealmaker.
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Photo via Wiki Commons
In the coming weeks, the renovation of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel will finally begin–a three-year process to convert much of the building to luxury condos. Hilton Worldwide Holdings, who had owned the landmark since 1972, agreed in 2014 to sell the 1,413-room hotel to Beijing-based financial and insurance company Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion. Since then, the interior was landmarked, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was tapped to design the project, and the building closed to begin work. Now the New York Post reports that post reno, the Waldorf will only hold 350 hotel rooms–a number that’s “at the low end of recent estimates and much smaller than the number former Waldorf owner Hilton had expected,” according to the paper.
It’s caused some tension
The Ansonia in 1904, via Wiki Commons
With the 2017 World Series kicking off today, it’s amazing to think that one of the most iconic landmarks of the Upper West Side played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the World Series back in 1919. Back then, the Ansonia was a brand new, luxury residential hotel in Manhattan–it opened in 1904 with a grand total of 1,400 rooms and 320 suites. The lavish locale quickly became popular amongst athletes; even Babe Ruth would stay there and come to treat the entire hotel like an extension of his apartment. But in 1919, baseball players and the mafia found a match in the hotel. A small group of players, and one very powerful, moneyed mafioso, came up with a deal that would throw the results of the game pitting the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds.
Keep reading about the illicit deal
, Fri, September 29, 2017
Rendering of TWA Hotel via MCR
MCR Development officially launched the mid-century modern TWA Lounge on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center on Thursday and provided a deeper look into plans to convert Eero Saarinen’s historic TWA flight center at JFK Airport into a hotel, event space, and dining destination (there will even be a bar in a vintage aircraft parked outside). As part of a public-private partnership between MCR and the Port Authority, the project will rehabilitate the landmarked Queens flight center by restoring the majority of its 1960s Jet Age features and adding a crescent-shaped hotel with 505 rooms flanking the original building on each side. According to MCR’s CEO Tyler Morse, construction of the hotel is on schedule; it will go vertical on Monday, top out in December, and have its curtainwall applied by January. If everything remains on schedule, the project is expected to open in 18 months.
More details and photos this way