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The Knickerbocker Hotel is one of the very few grand hotels in the Beaux-Arts style surviving in the Times Square area. Designed in 1901 by the firm of Marvin & Davis with the well-known Bruce Price as consulting architect, the building was financed by John Jacob Astor, the fourth namesake of the patriarch of one of America's richest families. It is executed in red brick, richly ornamented with French Renaissance detail, and crowned by a prominent copper mansard roof with corner pavilions and cresting.
The Knickerbocker was one of several New York hotels built by the Astor family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Near Times Square in the heart of the theater district, it was advertised as a "Fifth Avenue Hotel at Broadway Prices"; intended to attract not only guests in residence, but also theater-goers and other visitors, its large restaurants and bar-rooms were elaborately decorate
d, featuring electrified fountains, and murals by noted artists such as Maxfield Parrish and Frederic Remington. These public rooms were designed in 1905 by the firm of Trowbridge & Livingston.
The hotel site also includes an annex with a narrow Romanesque Revival facade on West 41st Street which pre-dates the main building. This structure, which was used as a service entrance, was originally a small hotel, designed by Philip C. Brown in 1894.
With the onset of Prohibition, the Knickerbocker was converted to commercial and office use and continues to serve these purposes, while also reflecting the architectural richness of the Times Square area in the Gilded Age.
The Development of Times Square
The construction of large hotels in the Times Square district resulted from the northward expansion of the city, the growth of mass transportation, and the relocation of the theater district.
A rural area in the early 1800s, it evolved into an urban area following the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways in 1871. Although the first subway line—the IRT to 145th Street— did not reach Times Square until 1904, the route had already been fixed in 1901. In that year plans were filed for three hotels, including the Knickerbocker, fourteen apartment houses, and one theater all located near Times Square. Land values rose about a third virtually overnight.
The theater district, which had moved northward in stages, up Broadway, reached the area. Far-sighted theater managers, such as Oscar Hammerstein, who opened the Lyric Theater in 1895, anticipated the emergence of a new concentration of theaters around Times Square (which had been named for the Times Tower of 1904). Between 1901 and 1920, forty-three additional theaters were built in midtown, east and west of Broadway. Auxiliary entertainment services sprang up--restaurants, dance halls and hotels.
The Astor Family's Hotel Interests
The Knickerbocker was only one of several New York hotels constructed by the Astor family in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Beginning with the Astor House of 1836 on lower Broadway, the family established a reputation for building costly and well-appointed hotels. John Jacob Astor (1864-1912), the fourth namesake of the patriarch of the family, and his cousin William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919) built a number of luxury hotels around the turn of the century. William Waldorf's Waldorf Hotel of 1895 and John Jacob's Astoria Hotel, begun in the same year on adjacent sites (both sites now occupied by the Empire State Building, a designated New York City Landmark) were eventually joined to form the first Waldor-Astoria Hotel (architect, Henry Hardenbergh) which was considered in its day to be the grandest New York hotel, setting the standard for others to equal or surpass.
William Waldorf Astor also financed the Hotel Netherland (1890-93; demolished) and the Hotel Astor at Times Square (1902-04; demolished). Designed by Clinton & Russell, the Hotel Astor was an elaborate Beaux-Arts structure, of red brick with limestone detail and a mansard roof. Comparable in style to the Knickerbocker, it also featured eclectic and elaborate public rooms. John Jacob Astor built the exclusive St. Regis Hotel on Fifth Avenue, begun in 1904, designed by Trowbridge & Livingston, and this highly successful venture very likely led to that firm's commission for the interior of the Knickerbocker Hotel.
History of the Knickerbocker
John Jacob Astor leased the new hotel site to the Philadelphia-based International Realty & Construction Company. At the time of this agreement the site was occupied by the Hotel St. Cloud and a smaller eight-story building facing on West 41st Street (which became known as the annex). While the St. Cloud was razed (Astor stipulated that a new hotel to cost at least two million dollars replace it), the 41st Street structure was retained. According to the New York City Department of Buildings, it was designed by Philip C. Brown in 1894 as a h
Who doesn't daydream?
I only uploaded this because I was tagged, and I wanted to answer questions, so.
Oh, and if I add you, you don't necessarily have to do it or read it, ignore me if you wish :D
What was your:
1.Last beverage - Chocolate cream at Starbucks
2.Last song you listened to - something by Vampire Weekend
3.Last time you cried - Not sure...haven't cried in a while, it's strange
4.What time you woke up today - twelve past twelve
5.Something you can't wait for - First kiss, it'll happen someday
6.Right or lefty - Righty, unfortunately :(. WHY COULDN'T I BE BORN LEFT-HANDED?
Which is better?
7.Lips or eyes - Eyes. Green eyes.
8.Hugs or kisses - Kisses, more exciting than hugs
Do you believe in:
9.Yourself - Pfft, nope.
10. Miracles - Definitely
11.Love at first sight - No, not at all
12. Heaven - Sure thang
Thirty one things I love (in no particular order)
1. Guns N' Roses
2. All kinds of music
4. Photography, whether or not you're good at it
5. Space hoppers
6. Sleeping for more than 8 hours
8. David and Goliath - go to the website, it's awesome
9. Anything RETRO
10. FOOD, beautiful food
11. Non-conforming teenagers
13. Rain and sun at the same time
15. Rom-coms, pathetic as it sounds
16. Full moons
17. Writing in my too cool diary
18. Nail polish but not any other type of make-up
19. The freaks, outcasts, emos, rebels
21. Cadbury chocolate purple
22. Love quotes
23. Converse and Dr Martens
24. Novelty jewellery and bags
26. Most of my friends
27. Floppy/curly/scruffy hair
29. Making people laugh with my casual reference to the hilarious things black people get up to (I'm black too, it's not racism)
30. Being different and awkward and horribly unfashionable but enjoying it anyway
Name : India-Mae, but just India to many
Age : Fourteen, but I look four
Languages : English, American and Australian :D
Sexual Orientation : Straight
Career Aspiration : Psychologist or music journalist or medical journalist (I'm sure that's a job) or magazine editor (but not a fashion magazine, that sounds like a sad life)
What are your passions: Photography, music (so much music) and food :)
Hobbies : Walking, listening to music but not playing it aaaand writing. Oh, and decorating
Goals in life : To become INTERESTED in exercise besides walking. I'm usually forced into any other type of exercise
Favorite books : Looking For Alaska, Twilight, Eclipse (but not New Moon or Breaking Dawn, Bella annoys me in those) and My Sister's Keeper
Favorite movies : Hairspray (newest one), Back to the Future, Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Forrest Gump
You watch : Glee, when it's not on hiatus, Doctor Who (sci-fi geeks FTW), and music channels. And That 70's Show whenever I get to go America, cos we don't have it in the UK :(
1. What Color Is Your Toothbrush: Blue
2. Name One Person That Made You Smile Today: I'll name them all, Amy, Jessica, Zoe, mum and Maya
3. What were you doing at 8 AM?: Sleeping
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?: Eating, om nom
5. What is your favorite candy?: Twix
6. Biggest pet peeve: An African food, hilariously named fufu (pronounced foo-foo)
7. What's the last thing you said out loud?: "OK Maya" in a sarcastic tone
8. What is the best ice cream flavor?: Anything chocolate. But not mint chocolate, eww.
9. What was the last thing you had to drink?: Didn't you already ask me that?
10. What is your shortest time of sleep?: A minute and a half while I dreamt of falling off a bicycle
11. Have you ever made a promise you'd die to keep?: I'm not dying for anything!
12. Favourite animal: Pandas, pigs and sloths
13. The last sporting event you watched?: I never watch sporting events on TV. What a waste of time.
14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?: Salted.
15. Who is the last person you sent a message to on flickr?: Lani :D