“As for the restored lobby, it's magnificent. … It's instant time travel, one of the most appealing perks a historic hotel can offer.”
The team began by creating a master plan for modernizing this Midtown Manhattan landmark, which opened in 1931 on a full-city block and is owned and operated by Hilton.
The design replaced the existing marquee and arrival lobby exterior of the hotel’s upscale Park Avenue entrance with a glazed canopy and lightweight structure that reveals three central window bays and moves the original “The Spirit of Achievement” sculpture to its original, central location. As part of the lobby reorganization, removing the mezzanine and oversized neoclassical style chandelier, neither of which were part of the original design, opened up and flooded the space with natural light. This also revealed the original double-height windows, further celebrating the hotel’s grandeur.
The design also restored and expanded the long-neglected interior motor court, the unique enclosed drive that enables guests to experience a private, dignified arrival to the hotel. “Restored to its original width, the passage has surface material, details and colors correlated with the main lobby, accented with new grillwork similar to examples found throughout the hotel,” reported Oculus magazine.