Built as the Hotel McAlpin in 1912, Herald Towers began life as the world’s largest – and in some respects most innovative – hotel.
Today, the building’s most striking feature is the Beaux Arts crown – seven stories of lavish terra cotta. Two deep light courts face west (Broadway), but the 25-story building is now overshadowed by more recent towers.
The McAlpin’s owners converted the hotel to apartments in 1980, and attempted to go condo in 2005. The condo offering failed, and the building is now rental apartments.
Along the way, the hotel’s spectacular Marine Grill was dismantled. The restaurant was vaulted, like Grand Central Terminal’s Oyster Bar. Preservationists (led by Friends of Terra Cotta President Susan Tunick), rescued the restaurant’s terra cotta murals. Those panels are now on display at the Fulton Street (Broadway/Nassau) subway station. [nycsubway.org photos]
Herald Towers Vital Statistics
- Location: 50 W 34th Street at Broadway/Sixth Avenue (Herald Square)
- Year completed: 1912
- Architect: Frank Mills Andrews
- Floors: 25
- Style: Beaux Arts
Other Herald Towers Resources
- Wikipedia entry
- Herald Towers website
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- City Realty (Carter Horsley) review
- Skyscraper Center listing
- Emporis database