John Jacob Astor IV
He was the original visionary; the man with a dream to build one of New York City’s greatest hotels…and John Jacob Astor IV spared no expense in creating The Knickerbocker, the swankiest of hotels that served as Times Square’s premier playground for the rich and famous. Indeed, Astor was the consummate host, selling room nights for just $2.50, but indulging the sybaritic passions of celebrities and dignitaries with lavish $500 per plate meals eaten off the only set of solid-gold dishes in the country.
Here at the turn of the 19th century was a place where Wild West gunslingers attended late-night parties thrown by Broadway actors, or where a pioneer aviator might schmooze with a Tammany Hall politician. And it is here in the early years of the 20th century that we are reimagining and retelling the story of The Knickerbocker, channeling John Jacob Astor IV’s vision of creating the very best hotel in the world.