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Knickerbocker Hotel  1466 Broadway on the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Broadway, with an Annex at 143 West 41st Street. An individual landmark.

WHEREAS, The Knickerbocker Hotel is a Beaux Arts style building of red brick with terra cotta details, and with a prominent mansard roof, which was designed by Marvin & Davis, with Bruce Price and built in 1902-1906,  designated in 1988 and put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980; and

WHEREAS, Its Annex was designed by Phillip C. Brown, built in 1894, and is a designated landmark as well; and

WHEREAS, Financed by John Jacob Astor, it was a luxurious hotel and a popular dining and dancing spot in New York’s new theatre district, and was the only survivor out of several grand hotels that were built in the Times Square area; and

WHEREAS, The Knickerbocker closed in the 1920’s during the Depression and was converted to office use and was later the home to Newsweek Magazine; and

WHEREAS, The application is to alter the two-story commercial base, install canopies, construct a rooftop addition, remove a fire escape and install storefront infill at the Annex; and

WHEREAS, The base will be of white beige limestone, with bronze, glass and black ironwork similar to the original but without the arched windows and with much less ornamentation then the original,  the windows will be reduced in size more similar to the original, the design more compatible with its historic character; and

WHEREAS, The main entrance to the hotel will be on Broadway where the current entrance is, and it will now be expanded to three bays with a new glass and metal canopy and with a sconce on either side of the entrance, similar to the 42nd Street entrance, where the original main entrance was, which will also have a sconce on either side, and a projecting wrought iron balcony, referencing the original historically; and

WHEREAS, The Annex, also a landmark which has been closed for the past twenty years, will be restored and used for offices, the fire escape removed, the roll down security gate removed, the base, storefront and façade restored to its 1920 appearance, and  two sets of bronze double doors installed; and

WHEREAS, The new rooftop addition, an enlargement of the existing rooftop addition, will be for a bar and will be made of stucco and glass: the existing rooftop addition is 22 ft. 3 inches in width on the west  - Broadway side of the building  and 112 ft. 10 inches along the 42nd Street side; and

WHEREAS, The proposal would make the rooftop addition 40ft. 11 inches wide on the West- Broadway side and 121 ft. 11 inches along the 42nd Street side, and the height of the bar would be 15ft where it is now 10 ft., thus adding 18 ft along the west-Broadway side, and 8 ft along the 42nd street side, with a five foot addition in height over all; and

WHEREAS, The length of the bar along the East side is now 76 ft 11 inches and the proposal would lengthen it to 85 ft 11inches an increase of 8 ft 39 inches; and

WHEREAS, The height of the Cooling Towers, (which are located on the top and on the east side of the bar)  would have the Cooling towers stand 26 ft above the 15ft bar, making them 41ft above the roof. They are now 12ft above the roof; and

WHEREAS, The proposed penthouse rooftop addition is visible from several viewpoints, including Bryant Park and is very visible from West 42nd Street, between 6th Avenue and Broadway, and this extreme visibility violates the Landmarks Law; therefore be it,

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of this project.

The above resolution passed with a vote of 19 in favor, 15 opposed, 2 abstention.  

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