Times Square’s Hotel Astor, opened in 1904 on West 45th Street, was an opulent 500-room palace boasting luxurious banquet halls, terraces, tea parlors, and a Louis XV–decorated ballroom.
It also had a huge, elaborate roof garden where Gilded-Age New Yorkers dined, danced, and entertained themselves, catching cool river breezes in a pre–air conditioned era.
It’s been gone since 1967, replaced by an office tower. But back in the day, a New York Times article from 1920 had this to say:
“Down near Times Square the Hotel Astor Roof Garden and Belvedere Restaurant make it possible for the wayfarer to leave the torrid stretches of Seventh Avenue and in a few moments find himself in a real garden surrounded by flowers.
“There is the open-air dancing floor and the restaurant is conspicuous for dangling ferns and trailing vines. A unique feature of the restaurant is the gabled-glass roof over which flows a miniature Niagra.”