Unlike humans, when a hotel gets old, it gets demolished. Can you imagine how Eloise would feel watching a wrecking ball crashing through the walls of her beloved Plaza?
We don’t have Eloise to save the day, but we still do need to save endangered hotels from the evil clutches of real-estate developers who want to put up a condo complex or an office tower. Listed here are some of America’s most endangered hotels that could very well be blown up in the near future.
Hotel Pennsylvania, New York – Popularly known as the Hotel Penn, this iconic 100 year old New York hotel built by the Pennsylvania Railroad islocated across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. In Jan 2007, the owners – Vornado Realty Trust - announced plans to raze the building and put an office tower in its place.
The hotel’s fate is still undecided, and if enough people care about it, the owners could still decide to keep the Hotel Penn alive and open for business. On the web – www.hotelpenn.com/
Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles – 19-story crescent shaped hotel opened in 1966 and now operating as the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
This hotel is at the heart of a raging battle between the Los Angeles Conservancy and the building’s owners – Next Century Associates, who want to raze the hotel and replace it with two towers housing a luxury hotel, condos and other modern monstrosities.
The battle to save Century Plaza went into overdrive earlier this year when the building was named as one of America’s 11 most endangered places for 2009 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and actress Diane Keaton became the public and very vocal face of the effort to save Century Plaza.
On the web – centuryplaza.hyatt.com/
The Watergate Hotel, Washington D.C. – Scene of President Nixon’s Waterloo, the Watergate Hotel has been shuttered since 2007. The previous owners, Monument Realty, wanted to turn it into a luxury apartment complex. A planned renovation which was supposed to be complete by now never really got going, and the hotel remains closed.
The Watergate hotel has now been reportedly purchased by Holland Development Group, and depending on what their plans are, it could either end up as a luxury condo complex, or re-open after a renovation as one of the world’s most famous hotels and a DC landmark and tourist attraction to boot. On the web – www.thewatergatehotel.com/
Dallas Grand Hotel, Dallas – Formerly known as the Dallas Statler Hilton which opened in 1956, this building has also been named to the NTHP’s list of endangered places in 2008, and was also on the Preservation Dallas’ list in both 2007 and 2008.
It was supposed to be demolished in 2003, but got a reprieve. Other properties around it are being developed at a feverish pace. Sooner or later, the costs of keeping an eyesore in the middle of a well-developed neighbourhood is going to be too much to bear for Dallas and the building will be torn down.