I've always loved the building which stands on the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway. I knew it was old and I would describe it as pretty. It gave me a reason to gaze skyward while in Times Square as a kid. Little did I know by the time I came along in the 80's that it was a New York City Landmark with a storied past.
The Knickerbocker Hotel was built by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906 and was the place to be for socialites of the day. There are claims that the martini was invented by the bartender who worked there. Prince Charles, who was in fact dressed for dinner, horrified diners when he entered the hotel. Prince Charles was a chimpanzee. The hotel struggled thanks to pesky Prohibition, and was converted into offices in 1921 . Later this year, The Knickerbocker Hotel will reopen as a 330-room luxury lifestyle hotel. The Knickerbocker is a Scorpio - rebirth was inevitable.
Will Times Square become the destination again? It's no secret that people who live in NY avoid Times Square at all costs if they can. If they happen to work in the area, it's in and out with adept avoid-the-tourists maneuvers. However, it may not be long before plans for dinner and drinks are centered around Times Square. Though the entrance in the 42nd Street Subway is no longer in use, The Knickerbocker Hotel is located close enough to the subway for a hasty retreat if necessary.