07 November 2007

Maybe the Coolest Hotel in New York?

Now here's a bit of development to get excited about.

The New York Times reports of a new hotel on the horizon, and, from the sound of it, it may become the most unusual, freakiest, mostly utterly New Yorky hotel in Gotham.

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., which owns tons of classy hotels and junk all over the globe, has inked a bizarre deal with—wait for it—the New York Public Library. Under the terms of the agreement, the NYPL will sell to Orient the property and the building housing its Donnell branch in Midtown for $59 million. But Orient isn't going to demolish the library, as you might expect. The deal specifies that the branch will own and occupy space on the first floor and underground of the coming 11-story hotel. So we've got a hotel with a built-in library. Weird, right? Kinda great, right?

But that's not all. The Donnell branch is on 53rd Street, just a block north from the great old "21" Club, which Orient also owns. The two buildings are so close that five floors of the hotel will connect to "21."

A low-rise hotel with a bonafied library in the basement and secret passageways to a former speakeasy. It's literary and liquored up! It's New York City in a neat little ball. Be still my heart. I think I want to live in this hotel.


Davey said...

I know I want to live there. Guess it's time to finally finish that double major in hotel/restaurant management and library sciences.

Barbara said...

Not kinda great. NYC's best branch will lose approximately 70% of its shelf space, including an outstanding children's section.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Barbara. In fact I think there is some corruption to be looked into here. Notice the American media just glorifies while Pravda tells about the five floors for the Orient Express, each room from $700 - $2,000. And how is it that "58,000 square feet of its space to Club 21 for $59 million in cash." when "In New York, a 5,284-square-foot Park Avenue duplex is on the market for $42 million"? I want to know who the stockholders of Orient Express and Sea Containers and Club 21 are.
Orient Express acts like it is giving New York Public library the 28,000 square feet that it the library already owns and retains. And our public servants, the library who? say at this point, they can't tell us what services to the children, teenagers and internet users it will retain. Corruption! It stinks! Get the New York State attorney general in here now!
see Shame Therapy at http://citytherapy.blogspot.com/2007/11/shame-therapy.html

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Hey, far be it for me to not suspect developers and City officials of corruption. I'm sure some back-room stuff went on with this deal, as I'm sure it does with every deal.

Barbara said...

I'm just wondering where the outrage is. We heard about this as a done deal. As a very active library member, I would have expected to receive a hearing notice, at the very least. I'm registered to receive NYPL e-bulletins. Not a peep. Whenever hours are threatened, was are encouraged to participate in a letter writing campaign, which I always have. Hours matter, branches don't? I agree with Venus; there is something very fishy going on here.

Anonymous said...

all I know is the done deal ain't over until the fat lady sings.

I filed an integrity complaint with the New York State Attorney General today. Anyway I'll do my own research and explore a few other avenues to make sure the people of the City of New York get a fair deal.

Lovely said...

Barbara and Venus have posted the few but much needed comments in opposition to what's happening at NYPL. This is just the start of a new "One Library" initiative. Google Library Journal and see Norman Oder's news articles for more information. And don't sit still for this. By the time the public realizes what's happening to their neighborhood and Central Libraries it'll be too late to push for change. Also, don't buy the slick remarks manufactured by the Library in response to questions/issues. It's a cultural organization being re-shaped in a business model

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for that great info. I have followed up with a letter to my Council representative and New York Council Speaker Quinn. I've also got something else in my pocket which I hope to post here soon.

Best of Trendy said...

Those who wish to save the City, its branch libraries which includes Donnell Library. Please sign the petition that writes to Andrew Carnegie's agent for his explicit donor intent, that the branch libraries shall be maintained and run by the City. That the NYPL has illegally sold the branch libraries and through a signed agreement intends to do the same thing for Donnell Library.

The Petition is here:

p.s. Chris Schott of the New York Observer thinks this blog is the ? at the end of your title means !!!. Go figure.

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Anonymous said...

Seems pretty cool indeed! Wonder how it compares to the Tribeca hotel?