Petition · Save New York City’s Famed Hotel Pennsylvania From Demolition ·

(CHANGE.ORG) August 27, 2021

The famed Hotel Pennsylvania at 401 Seventh Avenue in Midtown South, New York, which opened in 1919 was designed by the preeminent firm of McKim, Mead & White for the Pennsylvania Terminal Real Estate Company. Directly spurred by the erection of Penn Station, developers began to capitalize on Midtown South as a new location to live and work through a Grand Central-like terminal city plan. Located directly across from the station, the hotel offered easy accessibility for travelers by rail. When built, it was the largest hotel in the world with 2,200 rooms and the world’s first high-rise elevators to service 22 stories.

McKim, Mead & White’s chief designer for the hotel was also involved in the design of the original Penn Station. William Symmes Richardson had joined the firm of McKim, Mead & White in 1906, and remained a working architect until about 1925. The base of the building was clad in Indiana Limestone matching the height of Pennsylvania Station. Its portico was designed to complement the station’s grand colonnade across the street. The rusticated stone façade is punctuated by a series of pilasters, the predominant number of these having scrolled capitals. The building forms four individual towers partially conjoined at the building’s center which were constructed to maximize the exposure to sunlight and airflow.