Walking around Murray Hill / Kips Bay, you may notice a really beautiful building, I recently captured on my Instagram account (@newyork_eyes): 4 Park Avenue, 66 East 34th Street.
Do you see those sort of three towers? That's it!
By the way, thank you to @4theinsta for editing the photo so nicely!
This handsome building with two light courts occupies the southwest corner of 34th Street and Park Avenue and originally was the 22-story Vanderbilt Hotel, was converted to offices and in 1967 was converted to a rental apartment building with 364 apartments.
It was built as the Vanderbilt Hotel in 1910-13, designed by firm Warren & Wetmore, commissioned by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt. He built his new hotel primarily for permanent residents, to accommodate a new generation of the rich who sought freedom from household cares - including himself. He took two floors at the top of the 22-story building.
A man seemingly fated to perish at sea, Vanderbilt had escaped tragedy by cancelling plans to travel on the Titanic, only to die aboard the Lusitania when it was torpedoed by the Germans off the coast of Ireland in 1915.
As a side note, Warren & Wetmore has also contributed to the design of the famous Grand Central Terminal!
The delicate Adam-style terra cotta decoration of the former Vanderbilt Hotel at 34th Street and Park Avenue received rough treatment in the 1960's - the lower facade was stripped away and some statues on the parapet were removed. But much terra cotta remained, and it was repaired in a facade alteration that ended in 2002.
The original Vanderbilt Hotel featured a remarkable Grill Room and adjacent bar, occupying the lower floors of the hotel and separate from the formal dining room. This iconic space was frequented by characters like Rudy Valentino.
The Della Robbia Bar and two adjacent bays of the upper part of the Grill Room have been preserved and remain today as Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
Related great articles: