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Roosevelt Hotel lobby
Photograph: Courtesy Roosevelt Hotel

NYC’s historic Roosevelt Hotel is closing after nearly 100 years

The hotel was home to many iconic New York moments.

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter

Nothing says classic New York like its iconic hotel scene. But with luxury comes hefty rents—today, many of NYC’s most famous hotels are holding on by a thread. After a century run as a Manhattan landmark, The Roosevelt Hotel, can longer afford to keep its doors open.

The famous address was built in 1924 near Grand Central Station and named after the U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt. The historic locale is everything an icon should be—replete with a grandiose lobby, immaculate marble floors, two-story ceilings and a show-stopper chandelier.

After surviving many eras of history in New York, from Prohibition to World War II, the 1,025-room hotel will cease operations on October 31 because of a detrimental drop in business amid the pandemic.

“Due to the current, unprecedented environment and the continued uncertain impact from COVID-19, the owners of The Roosevelt Hotel have made the difficult decision to close the hotel and the associates were notified this week,” the hotel said in a statement to CNN. “The iconic hotel, along with most of New York City, has experienced very low demand, and as a result, the hotel will cease operations before the end of the year. There are currently no plans for the building beyond the scheduled closing.”

The Manhattan institution, owned by Pakistan International Airlines, has been the grounds to historic American moments including the site of Governor Thomas Dewey’s 1948 election headquarters, and where Dewey incorrectly announced he had defeated Harry Truman. The timeless New Year’s Eve tradition of singing “Auld Lang Syne,” also began at the Roosevelt, where Guy Lombardo and his orchestra were broadcasted performing it in 1929.

If you haven't experienced the locale first-hand you can catch a glimpse of its famous façade in many films over the years including Maid in Manhattan, Malcolm X, Wall Street, The Irishman and in AMC’s Mad Men.

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