Jumeirah Essex House
The Jumeirah Essex House, formerly known as the Essex House, is a luxury hotel located on 160 Central Park South in Manhattan. Built in 1931 as the Park Tower Hotel, it is situated across the street from the southern border of Central Park and is convenient to both the stylish shops on Fifth Avenue and the nightlife of both Broadway and the Upper West Side. The 43-story hotel has 509 Art Deco style rooms and an in-house spa, and it is immediately recognizable by its original red neon rooftop sign.

History
The 43-story hotel has had several owner/operators over the years, including Marriott Hotels (1969), Japan Air Lines/Nikko hotel (1985) and is currently under the direction of the Jumeirah Group, which undertook a $90 million renovation in 2006, completely refurbishing the public spaces and upgrading all guest rooms with new modern furniture and a slate of technological improvements. The hotel also includes 149 condominiums. Dubai Investment Group purchased the Essex House in early 2006. Jumeirah Group (an international luxury hotel chain) took over the management of the property at that time. Hirsch Bedner Associates, an Atlanta-based design firm, undertook the 90 million dollar renovation and reimagining of the hotel, completed in the autumn of 2007. Many of the guest rooms and suites were expanded, and all of them were refurbished. The hotel was formerly the home of a five-star restaurant, Alain Ducasse at Essex House. However, Ducasse closed the restaurant at Essex House in January 2007. In early 2008, South Gate Restaurant and Bar opened in the hotel.

Facilities
The hotel has a main restaurant called South Gate led by Chef Kerry Heffernan. There is also a Lobby Lounge serving drinks and light food. The hotel's other facilities include a Spa/Fitness Center and a Business Center. The hotel has free bicycles available for guests and mp3 walking tours of Central Park,

In popular culture
In the famous 1932 photograph " Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper," the neon Essex House sign can be seen in the background. Milton Berle's mother, Sarah, died in her apartment at the Essex House on May 30, 1954. The famous Russian composer Igor Stravinsky lived there from the autumn of 1969 until his death on April 6, 1971. On January 13, 1979, R&B singer Donny Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, after an apparent suicide leap from the 15th floor room in which he had been living. The Essex House is known for its relationship with the American television program Saturday Night Live. In the early years of the show, announcer Don Pardo would proclaim that "guests of Saturday Night Live stay at the Essex House!" Angelina Jolie owns the penthouse apartment at the top, and shares the building with other A-list celebrities such as Jude Law and Samuel L. Jackson.

Building Activity

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