June 5, 2017

Building Spotlight: HOTEL TUDOR

Continuing our survey of individual Tudor City buildings, here's the lowdown on the Hotel Tudor, known within the French Company as the Twelfth Unit. It's the only building in the complex not designed for permanent residence, instead meant to be a transient hotel. It remains so today. 

➺ Opens October 1, 1930. Faced with red brick, rendered in a vaguely art deco style. The only structure without Tudor embellishments in the French Company's initial building effort. 

➺ Thru-block building has two towers connected on the lobby level, with entrances on both 41st and 42nd Sts. Originally, the official entrance is on 41st St.

➺ 17 stories on 42nd St. side, 20 stories on 41st St. side. 600 rooms and suites, including several suites with private roof terraces. Over the years, it variously houses a restaurant, cocktail bar and beauty shop.
Guest room, 1936
➺ The widening of 42nd Street for the approach to the U.N. in 1950 lowers the hotel entrance five feet, at a cost of $101,000. The city picks up the tab.

1950s postcard, 42nd Street entrance.

➺ In 1963, the French Company sells the hotel to an investment group, and since then, it changes ownership (and management) many times. Today, it's the Hilton New York Grand Central. A single room this evening runs a cool $419 per night. 

➺ Like Prospect Tower, the hotel is topped by a landmarked neon sign that's now unlit. Below, a colorized version of Tudor City's neon corridor, when both signs were shining, adapted from a 1941 photo.

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