401 7th Avenue
The 18-story Hotel Pennsylvania was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1919. It was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White, who also designed the original Pennsylvania Station that stood across the street from 1910 to 1963. The hotel's phone number received a substantial amount of promotion in Glenn Miller's big-band-era hit "Pennyslvania 6-5000." The hotel was renamed the New York Statler Hotel in 1949 and the Statler Hilton in 1954 before having its original name restored in 1992.
The building site has been coveted by developers for its prime location and a legal status that would allow construction of a massive new office tower without a special permit. In January of 2007, Vornado Realty Trust announced plans to demolish the hotel and construct a 2.5-million-square-foot office tower.
Although the historic background of the once-glamorous hotel is significant, it's tiny, seedy rooms have not won it much love from visitors or historians outside of a small but dedicated group of preservationists and it seems destined for the wrecking ball eventually.
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