Celebrating our Fifth Anniversary With a Brief History of The Knick
Five years ago, the Knickerbocker welcomed its first guests.
Well, sort of.
Our grand opening in 2015 was really more of the beginning of our second act. After all, John Jacob Astor IV—a legendary American hotelier and real estate developer—first opened “the Knick” in 1906.
Admittedly, the original Knickerbocker hotel didn’t have a lot of longevity. It only remained open for 15 years. But during that period, it became one of the city’s most storied properties in the city, welcoming such notable figures as ballerina Anna Pavlova; novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald; and composer Giacomo Puccini. Even Teddy Roosevelt was seen in the hotel’s lobby.
It’s rumored to be the birthplace of the martini (sometimes ordered by John D. Rockefeller, sometimes not) and where Babe Ruth was sold to the Yankees. It’s where parties were thrown for famous pilots, politicians and Broadway performers.
For years, the Knickerbocker Hotel was one of the most important fixtures in Times Square. The hotel thrived its glamorous parties with Vaudeville dancers and live musical performances, and the hotel drew an illustrious crowd to the once quiet corner of the city known as Times Square.
Things, clearly, changed. Prohibition brought about an untimely end for the Knick’s brief stint as the social nucleus of Times Square, which is now one of the busiest, most energetic intersections on Earth — and the Knick has been reborn as one of the most luxurious addresses in New York City.
After spending decades as an office building and landing a coveted spot on the National Register of Historic Places, the Knick reclaimed its coveted corner on 42nd and Broadway as a leading Times Square hotel in 2015.
Over the years, this Beaux Arts landmark has once again become the epicenter of Times Square social life. You can come here to celebrate (the view of the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve is sensational), feast—don’t miss dinner at one of our restaurants or bars— or enjoy a quiet retreat from the sleepless city. Either way, you’re sure to experience the Knick’s timeless legacy of entertainment and hospitality.
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