The Lexington Hotel NYC
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|The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection|
|Location||511 Lexington Avenue (corner with 48th Street), New York, NY, 10017|
|Height||316 feet (96 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Schultze and Weaver|
|Number of rooms||725|
|Number of suites||25|
|Number of restaurants||2|
The Lexington Hotel opened in 1929 as the Hotel Lexington, at the height of the Manhattan midtown hotel boom, 1920s to the 1930s. The hotel opened with a promise by General J. Leslie Kincaid, president of the American Hotel Corporation, to provide a thoroughly modern house of refined atmosphere and exceptional service – without the annoyance and confusion that is often experienced in hotels catering to large assemblages.
The original architect was Schultze & Weaver whose first major commission job had been the large Los Angeles hotel today known as the Millennium Biltmore. Their later work included the Atlanta Biltmore Hotel, and the Coral Gables Biltmore Hotel. The firm also designed the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach and the Miami Nautilus Hotel. They designed several noted landmark hotels within New York City, including:
- The Park Lane Hotel
- The Waldorf Astoria
- The Lexington Hotel
- The Pierre Hotel
- The Sherry-Netherland
The Normanesque terracotta figures that decorate the Lexington Avenue entrance are reminiscent of those found on the Notre Dame. Rows of terracotta-winged lions adorn the building’s façade. Beneath a metal canopy, inscribed with the hotel’s name, visitors pass through the expansive glass doors into the spacious marbled-floored lobby.
The property now belongs to Marriott’s "Autograph Collection" of fifty hotels that have historic qualities to them. In 2014, a $46 million renovation was completed that restored historic architectural elements including the original brass elevator doors with songbird motifs.
The Hotel Lexington was home to many famous restaurants, nightspots and celebrities, including:
- Joe DiMaggio, baseball legend, who resided at the hotel between 1957 and 1962, while he was affiliated with the Monette Company.
- Marilyn Monroe lived here with DiMaggio during their brief marriage in Suite #1806.
- Dorothy Lamour, Hollywood celebrity
The hotel evolved and in the 1930s the “Hawaiian Room” opened in what is now "LQ". The Hawaiian Room was identified with entertainer Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey broadcast his radio show live from the Hawaiian Room. The hotel contained other venues such as the "Paul Revere Tavern," "Denim & Diamonds," "Chateau Madrid," and the "Playboy’s Empire Club" (bunnies with male counterparts called “Rabbits”) - in the 1980s.
- The Lexington Hotel on emporis.com
- The Architect, Cover Story, January 1930
- Oseid, John (July 16, 2014). "The Lexington New York City: A Jazz Age Makeover". Forbes. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Fred Hall, Dialogues in Swing: Intimate Conversations with the Stars of the Big Band Era, Page 7, Pathfinder Publishing, First Edition 1989
- Sterling, Ann (October 8, 2014). "'Ex-Lexes' tell the stories of New York's Hawaiian Room". KITV 4. Retrieved 19 October 2015.