Historic Hotels in New York City

Hotel Pennsylvania


The Hotel Pennsylvania is located at 401 Seventh Avenue, between 32nd and 33rd streets, across the street from Pennsylvania Station and Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan. It opened on January 25, 1919, as the world’s largest hotel, with 2,200 rooms, each with a bath or shower.

Construction of the hotel was announced in January, 1916. In 1917, its construction was delayed due to shortage of steel.

The 22-story building was designed by William Symmes Richardson, constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and operated by Ellsworth Statler. Roy Caruthers of San Francisco was selected as manager. In 1919, the facilities included a library, Turkish bath, Mediterranean Grill, swimming pools for men and women and a roof garden. In May, the hotel opened a hospital for the use of its employees.

In 1933, the Automobile Club of New York announced it would move to a floor in Hotel Pennsylvania. In 1940, its telephone number was immortalized by Glenn Miller with the song “Pennsylvania 6-5000”.

On June 30, 1948, Statler Hotels acquired the property from the Pennsylvania Railroad and renamed it Hotel Statler on January 1, 1949. In 1954, Statler hotels were sold to Conrad Hilton. The hotel was renamed again, in 1958, to Statler Hilton. In 1979, the hotel was sold to William Zeckendorf Jr. (1929-2014), renamed the New York Statler and was operated by Dunfey Hotels. It was sold again in 1983 to an investment group and renamed the New York Penta. In 1991, the investment group was reshaped and the hotel regained its original name: Hotel Pennsylvania.

By 1999, the company Vornado was the owner of the Hotel. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Hotel Pennsylvania to close and demolition began at the end of 2021.


Hotel Pennsylvania


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Dining room


Above, the Hotel Pennsylvania as Hotel Statler on a vintage postcard about the 1960s.

Right, section of the main dining room (vintage postcard).


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