St. Regis Hotel
The historic St. Regis Hotel is located at 2 East 55th Street in Midtown Manhattan, between Madison Avenue and 5th Ave. It opened in 1904, when it was considered to be one of the finest hotels in the United States.
The 18-story luxury St. Regis Hotel was built by John Jacob Astor IV, who also built the Astoria Hotel in 1897, located 20 blocks south on Fifth Avenue. St. Regis was named after the Upper St. Regis Lake in northern New York State, in the Adirondack Mountains.
The St. Regis Hotel was designed by architects Trowbridge & Livingston, in French Beaux-Arts style. It was the tallest hotel in NYC when built (267 feet high). Construction began in 1901 and the hotel opened its solid bronze doors on September 4, 1904. Each room had its own telephone.
J.J. Astor died in the 1912 sinking of the Titanic. In 1921, his son Vincent Astor added on the adjoining plot, 50 by 100 feet, in East Fifty-fifth Street, an eighteen-story annex, the same height as the main hotel. The annex added 150 rooms, giving the hotel a capacity of 450 rooms.
Vincent Astor sold St. Regis to Durham Realty Corporation, in February 1927. In 1928, the new owners built a 20-story addition to the building, with large suites. A new roof garden, the main dinning room and ballroom, with additional lobby space, were housed in the addition. The number of rooms were expanded to 554. In 1934, Vincent Astor bought the hotel back, after a default in the payment of mortgages. The public rooms were redecorated and a new Oak Room opened in 1935.
In 1960, the Kratter Corporation took title to the St. Regis Hotel and leased it back to a subsidiary of Webb & Knapp, Inc. In 1964 the property was sold to Cesar Balsa. In 1966, Sheraton Corporation leased the hotel and renamed it The St. Regis-Sheraton. It was declared a New York City Landmark in 1988. After renovation, it opened in September 1991 as The St. Regis. It was sold to Starwood in 1998 and St. Regis was made the flagship of a new line of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. It was expanded to more than 40 St. Regis hotels and resorts around the world. The original hotel became The St. Regis New York. Since 2016, it is part of Marriott International.
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St. Regis Hotel