Saturday, November 03, 2012

The old doorway to the Knickerbocker Hotel

 The great hotel when it was new in the early days of the 20th century.
The door in the subway station on 42nd street and Broadway

The Knickerbocker Hotel was built by John Jacob Astor IV who would become one of the great hotel builders in New York City and sadly be lost on the RMS Titanic in 1912.  It would be were many of the great actors would hand out and where some say and some say not, where the martini was born.  Here lived Enrico Caruso, George M Cohan, Ernestine Schumann Heink, and a host of other great singers and entertainers. After J.J. Astor's death things changed and by late 1919 the hotel was closed and made into an office building. Amazingly the building has survived and still is a place where you can thrill to the thought of caruso singing from the top floors for the ending of WWI. Even many of Caruso's wedding pictures were taken on the roof of the Knickerbocker. But it still exists and it was interesting for me as I roamed around in the subway station on 42nd Street and Broadway I saw this door.  A door that has not been used in near a century.  I wonder what is behind it? Probably just junk. But it was through this door many of the greats of entertainment and NYC society walked. I am glad it is still there although 99.9% of New Yorker's have no idea what it is for.