The Roosevelt Hotel (Manhattan)

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The Roosevelt Hotel
Roosevelt Hotel.jpg
The Roosevelt Hotel
General information
Location Manhattan, New York City
Address 45 East 45th Street
Coordinates 40°45′17″N 73°58′39″W / 40.75472°N 73.97750°W / 40.75472; -73.97750Coordinates: 40°45′17″N 73°58′39″W / 40.75472°N 73.97750°W / 40.75472; -73.97750
Opening 1924
Owner Pakistan International Airlines Corporation
Management Interstate Hotels & Resorts
Design and construction
Architect George B. Post & Son
Other information
Number of rooms 1015
Number of suites 52
Official website
The Roosevelt Hotel entrance
The Roosevelt Hotel building

The Roosevelt Hotel is at Madison Avenue and 45th Street in midtown Manhattan, named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. The New York City hotel opened on September 22, 1924.[1] The hotel closed in 1995 and reopened in 1997 after a $65-million extensive renovation.

Guest rooms[edit]

There are a total of 1,015 rooms in the hotel, including 52 suites. The 3,900 square feet (360 m2) Presidential Suite has four bedrooms, a kitchen, formal living and dining areas, and a wrap-around terrace.

The rooms are traditionally decorated, with mahogany wood furniture and light-colored bed coverings.

Facilities and services[edit]

The "Roosevelt Grill" serves American food and regional specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The "Madison Club Lounge" has a 30-foot (9.1 m) mahogany bar, stained glass windows and a pair of fireplaces. There is also a cafe (Ferraras Cafe).

The Roosevelt has 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of meeting and exhibit space, including two ballrooms and 17 additional meeting rooms ranging in size from 300 – 1,100 sq ft (100 m2). It offers a business center which provides Internet access, fax services, secretarial services, copy services and shipping services.

Other services include a concierge, a 24-hour fitness center, safety deposit boxes, valet laundry, valet or self-parking, and 15 retail tenants.[2]


Designed by George B. Post & Son and leased from The New York State Realty and Terminal Company, the hotel was the first to incorporate store fronts instead of lounges in its sidewalk facades due to the Prohibition era. The Roosevelt Hotel was at one time linked with Grand Central Terminal by way of an underground passage that connected the hotel to the train terminal. The Roosevelt housed the first guest pet facility and child care service in The Teddy Bear Room and had the first in-house doctor.

Guy Lombardo performed “Auld Lang Syne” for the first time in the hotel’s Roosevelt Grill, which was open from 1927 to 1958, and Lawrence Welk began his career at the Roosevelt Hotel in the summers while Lombardo took his music to Long Island. Music was piped live into each room via radio. Hugo Gernsback (of Hugo Award fame) started WRNY from a room on the 18th floor of The Roosevelt broadcasting live via a 125 foot tower on the roof. Conrad Hilton purchased the Roosevelt in 1943 calling her "a fine hotel with grand spaces" and even though he eventually owned many other hotels in New York (The Plaza & The Waldorf - Astoria), he chose the Roosevelt's Presidential Suite as his home. In 1947, the Roosevelt became the first hotel to have a television set in every room.

From 1943 to 1955 the Roosevelt Hotel served as the New York City office and residence of Governor Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey's primary residence was his farm in upstate New York, but he used Suite 1527 in the Roosevelt to conduct most of his official business in the city. In the famous 1948 presidential election, Dewey, his family, and staff listened to the election returns in Suite 1527 of the Roosevelt; in the election Dewey lost to incumbent President Harry Truman in one of the greatest political upsets in American history.

Though the civil rights act of 1964 banned discrimination in public accommodations, the Men's Grill at the Roosevelt refused to admit women till a New York City law was passed in 1970 The law prohibited banning women by places that were "sexegrated" on the grounds that, though they welcomed the public, they were private clubs.

Beginning in 1979, the hotel was leased by the Pakistan International Airlines through its investment arm PIA Investments Ltd., with an option to purchase the building after 20 years. Prince Faisal bin Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was one of the investors in the 1979 deal.[3] In 1999, PIA exercised their option and bought the hotel for $36.5 million, after a legal battle with owner Paul Milstein, who claimed it was worth much more.[4] In 2005, PIA bought out its Saudi partner in a deal that included the prince's share in Hôtel Scribe in Paris in exchange for $40 million and PIA's share of the Riyadh Minhal Hotel (a Holiday Inn located on property owned by the prince).[2] PIA has since controlled 99 percent interest in the hotel, while the Saudis have only 1 percent.

After a major $65 million renovation, in July 2007 PIA announced that it was putting the hotel up for sale.[5] The increasing profitability of the hotel, at the same time as the airline itself started to incur massive losses, resulted in the sale being abandoned.[6] On January 1, 2011 The Roosevelt Hotel's General Manager stated the hotel is once again undergoing extensive renovations but will remain open during the process.

Appearances in media[edit]

In film[edit]

The Roosevelt Hotel has been seen in several major motion pictures, including The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The French Connection, Hanky Panky, Quiz Show, Wall Street, Maid in Manhattan, 1408, The Dictator, Men in Black 3, Man on a Ledge, and Broken City.[7]

In music[edit]

The Hotel was also the setting for Rascal Flatts' Christmas music video "I'll Be Home For Christmas".

According to musician John Prine, the country classic "You Never Even Called Me by My Name" was written by Steve Goodman and Prine at a room desk in the Roosevelt Hotel. Prine refused official co-writing credit, and in 1975 it went on to become a Top Ten hit and signature song for David Allan Coe.[8]

In television[edit]

In Season 2 of Mad Men, Don Draper lives at The Roosevelt Hotel for multiple episodes while he is having marital troubles, though all scenes were shot in Los Angeles.

In the opening credits for Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible, host Anthony Melchiorri can be seen standing in the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel. However, it was never featured as a struggling hotel in any episode. The opening credits give "special thanks" to the Roosevelt.[9]

The Roosevelt is featured extensively in Season 1 Episode 6 of HBO's The Leftovers which aired on 3rd August 2014 in the US. Nora attends a conference in New York City where she is to be a panelist. Her ID has been stolen and the thief causes trouble for her in the hotel. The lobby, the bar area, the surrounding raised restrooms area and hallway, and even the familiar large square patterned room cushions are on the show.


External links[edit]