Posts Tagged ‘Knickerbocker Hotel’

What Times Square looked like in 1911

July 2, 2012

That’s when it was still known as Longacre Square, though the name was officially changed in 1904 when The New York Times built its new headquarters there.

Looks so small-town, doesn’t it?

A secret passage to an old Times Square hotel

June 28, 2010

Go to the north end of the subway platform of the Times Square shuttle, and you’ll see a grimy door with an old darkened sign above it.

This was once an underground passageway leading from the subway to the Knickerbocker Hotel, a Beaux-Arts beauty built in 1906 by John Jacob Astor.

The Knickerbocker, on Broadway and 42nd Street, was a trendy place back in the aughts and the teens. Legend has it that the martini was invented there.

And opera great Enrico Caruso supposedly belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” from his room balcony one Veterans Day.

Covered up by construction scaffolding for a few years, the sign and door are visible once again. 

And as tempting as it is to imagine going inside and doing a little time traveling, don’t even try. The door remains locked, and though the building still exists, the hotel was shut in 1920.