Under the New Yorker Hotel, a former guest convenience has been rendered an Art Deco artifact by the times. While not built to be a secret, a tunnel connecting the Midtown hotel’s lobby to Penn Station was sealed on the station’s side sometime in the 1960s and subsequently forgotten, according to Atlas Obscura.
Pictures from a recent tour of the hotel by Untapped Cities reveal that while the tiled, Art Deco tunnel may not lead anywhere anymore, it is still there beneath 34th Street. Instead of hosting hurried hotel guests utilizing the passageway for a more efficient, private route to Penn Station, however, these days the tunnel is used to store dusty chairs, rolled up rugs, and other excess furniture.
The hotel, which was opened in 1930 near the height of Art Deco’s popularity, advertised its private tunnel in brochures as “so convenient!”
A 2002 New York Times Q&A column fielded a question entitled “A Tunnel’s End” responding to the query of the tunnel’s existence with both an answer and a brief history of The New Yorker:
The tunnel is still there, but is now used to store building material. The New Yorker, at Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, got off to a glittery start in the 30’s, but fell on hard times and closed in 1973. The Unification Church bought the property in 1975 and used it as a headquarters. In 1994 a refurbished New Yorker Hotel was reopened by Ramada.
For $35, Untapped Cities offers periodic tours of the hotel, including access to the tunnel, rooftop, and engine room.
[Via Atlas Obscura]
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Neighborhoods : Midtown West