The old Gotham Hotel, today The Peninsula, is located on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and 55th Street (700 Fifth Avenue) in New York City.
The plot was bought in 1902 by a group headed by Henry R. Hoyt. They initially intended to build a residential hotel. Across Fifth Avenue, the St. Regis Hotel was under construction since 1901 and opened in 1904.
This luxury hotel opened in 1905 as "Hotel Gotham" and it was advertised in the 1930s as "The Gotham". The 23-story building, in the shape of a C, was designed in neoclassical style by the firm Hiss and Weekes. The façade was built of limestone and granite. Being close to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, the hotel could not acquire a liquor license and it went into bankruptcy, in 1908. In October of that year the hotel was put on auction and it was sold to the Hotel Holding Company.
The hotel was sold again in 1914 and again in 1920. In 1932, the hotel was acquired by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. About 1937, Max A. Haering was the Resident Manager. In 1938, the street-side restaurant was closed and five stores was built into the 100-foot Fifth Avenue front, replacing the Renaissance room. The palatial public rooms were also replaced for commercial use in the floor area.
In 1961, a group headed by Alvin M. Greenstein took over the hotel, then with 350 rooms, but it continued to be managed by Zeckendorf Hotels Corporation. In 1965, the Gotham Hotel Realty Company sold the hotel, then with 400 rooms, to Wellington Associates.
In 1979, Rene Hatt took over the hotel and it was renovated, adding a rooftop pool and fitness centre, but the hotel got into financial problems. After a deal with investors, it reopened in 1987 as the Hotel Maxim's de Paris. In 1988, it was bought by the Peninsula Hotels group. The hotel was renovated and became the Peninsula New York, with 241 guest rooms.
In 1989, the building was designated a landmark of NYC.
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