Quite a beauty on Broadway and 34th Street: When it opened in 1912, the Hotel McAlpin was the largest hotel in the world.
Besides its 1,500 rooms and a spot in then-fashionable Herald Square, the McAlpin had a basement restaurant called the Marine Grill—with multicolor terra cotta ornaments decorating columns and vaulted ceilings.
The Marine Grill also featured some pretty amazing murals that told the story of New York City’s maritime history. Sadly, in 1990, when the restaurant space was taken over by a Gap franchise (and the hotel became a rental building and eventually a co-op), those murals were headed for the trash bin.
But preservation groups stepped in and saved them, installing them in the Broadway-Nassau station in 2000.
Next time you’re downtown on the A train, take a few minutes to check ’em out. Here’s one of the six salvaged murals.
The original iron entrance gate of the Marine Grill, also saved. Here, more photos and information on the murals.