New Yorker Hotel
The 43-story New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Avenue, New York City) was built in 1929 and opened its doors on January 2, 1930. It was designed by the architectural firm of Sugarman and Berger. Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building (opened in 1931) and the Chrysler Building (opened in 1930), the New Yorker is designed in the Art Deco style that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The building's pyramidal, set-back tower structure largely resembles that of the Empire State Building, which lies just a few blocks east on 34th Street. For many years, the New Yorker Hotel was New York's largest hotel with 2,500 rooms. In addition to the ballrooms there were ten private dining "salons" and five restaurants employing 35 chefs. The barber shop was one of the largest in the world with 42 chairs and 20 manicurists. There were 92 telephone operators and 150 laundry staff washing as many as 350,000 pieces daily. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the hotel hosted a number of popular Big Bands while notable figures such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and even Fidel Castro stayed here. However, by the late 1960s, with both the passing of the Big Band era as well as the construction of more modern hotels, the hotel slowly lost profitability and closed its doors in April 1972. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327 (where he also died), largely devoting his time to feeding pigeons while occasionally meeting dignitaries. Different proposals were offered for the use of the building, and in 1975 it was purchased by the Unification Church for $5,600,000. The church converted much of the building for church uses. Under new management and following extensive renovation, the New Yorker Hotel re-opened its doors as a hotel on June 1, 1994. Since 2000 it has been part of the Ramada franchise. In November 2007 the New York Times reported that the New Yorker had reopened for business under the name Ramada New Yorker. The New Yorker Hotel is located at the corner of 8th Ave and 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. The New Yorker Hotel also featured pro wrestling from the Ring of Honor promotion, featuring one of pro-wrestling's most famous matches, Kenta Kobashi (representing Pro Wrestling Noah from Japan) facing Samoa Joe (representing Ring of Honor) in the Grand Ballroom on October 1, 2005. They would hold their final New Yorker show on June 17, 2006.

Power plant
When initially built the New Yorker Hotel had coal-fired steam boilers and generators sufficient to produce more than 2200 kilowatts of direct current electric power. This was at the time the largest private power plant in the United States. The hotel's own direct current generators were still in use during the Northeast Blackout of 1965 but by the late 1960s the hotel's power system had been modernized to alternating current. In a dedication ceremony held on 25 September 2008, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) named the New Yorker Hotel's direct current power plant a Milestone in Electrical Engineering. A bronze plaque commemorating the achievement was presented to the hotel by IEEE.

In 1994, the New Yorker Hotel Management Company, Inc. took over operations and began the largest renovation project in the New Yorker's nearly 80-year history. Progress continued steadily until 9/11, when production was halted. Then, in 2003, renovations resumed, continuing over the next five years. By the end of 2007, the hotel had 912 guest rooms available. (In 1994 there were only 178 rooms available for rent.) From 2007 to the end of August 2008, hotel administration planned to spend approximately $65 million on renovations. The renovation project, designed by Stonehill & Taylor Architects, was completed in February 2009 Interior improvements included room restructuring and an augmentation of many rooms (now called "Metro" and "City View" rooms). In addition, the hotel's local air-conditioning units have been replaced with central HVAC systems throughout the entire hotel. Other improvements include lobby redesign, foyer reconstruction, and expanded Wi-Fi, PDA and flat-screen HDTV utilities in all rooms. Additional completed remodeling includes a refurbished front-entrance facade and a recarpeting of the ballroom spaces. Unification Church symbols have been incorporated into the decor of the Grand Ballroom. In 2009 additional conference room space will be added to the hotel through the conversion of a retired Manufacturer’s Hanover Bank branch adjacent to the hotel, bringing the total meeting space to just over 33,000 square feet (3,100 m 2).


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