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HELP SAVE THE HOTEL !!! Save the Hotel
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NEWS & LETTERS

We can't do this alone. 

Request For Evaluation

 

10/3/2008

Apparently a fire broke out in the Hotel Penn today.  There were no reports of injuries, according to my sources at the hotel.  Below is the a links to the FOXNY & NY! News that reported it.

Hotel Fire Fox News

Hotel Fire NY 1

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4/3/2008

I was surprised to open my email and see a letter from a very nice woman, who was concerned over the possible demolition of the hotel.  I was moved by her letter.  You can read her letter here.

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2/22/2008

I just got off the phone with Mary Beth Betts, the reason they have declined designating this hotel is because there are too many in the area now that have been landmarked (like the Plaza) that are much more Architectural significant then the Penn. 

I questioned her on what makes a qualification, and she tried to use just the Architecture, as her answer, but when I asked her if it was the only factor in the determination, her answer was no.  Cultural and Technological is also a factor but they have no control over that.  I asked what that meant and she just double talked her way around the answer.  Apparently this Hotel has come up for review before in the past few years and each time it was turned down.
I pointed out that both the full CB 5 as well as the HDC, and Assemblymen Gottfried office all requested that this hotel be designated, however the LPC still says no at this time.

So despite being a point of great cultural interest they are not going to review this hotel for land marking status.  She did mention to try again in a few years.

I haven't given up hope, we just need to find a new tactic.  We need to show the LPC what it means to be a cultural landmark in NYC, as well as a technical one. 

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2/20/2008

I received a letter today from The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, that states as follows:


February 14th, 2008

Re: Hotel Pennsylvania, 401 7th Ave, Manhattan

"Dear Mr. Jones

In response to the information you submitted concerning the property referenced above, a senior staff committee of the Landmarks Preservation Commission has reviewed the property for consideration as a potential landmark. At this time, the property does not appear to meet the criteria for designation and will not be recommended to the full Commission for further consideration as a New York City landmark.

We want to thank you for your submission and for your interest in historic preservation. We hope that your interest in the work of the Landmarks Preservation Commission continues.


Sincerely,

Mary Beth Betts"


Not really sure if this is the final say or not, I will have to investigate further and will let you know. But it doesn't look good.


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1/28/2008

I attempted to contact Merrill Lynch today (specifically Selena Morris) to get a solid yes or no if Merrill is going to renew the lease downtown.  I called her @ 212-584-9706 (Merrill Lynch's Media Relations Department), She has yet to get back to me.  If anyone wishes to contact her to get a quote please do so and let us know.

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1/28/08

The following is an interview conducted by Chris Shott from the New York Observer back in December of 2007, he is talking to Gregory Peck, a former Vornado employee now a well know NYC Hotelier:

"Chris: Q: You used to work for Vornado Realty Trust?

Gregory A: Yes. 

Chris: Q: They have one hotel in their portfolio, the Hotel Pennsylvania, which may be torn down to make way for an enormous office tower. What's your perspective? Should that hotel come down? 

Gregory  A: When I was at Vornado, I actually did some analysis on the hotel. The challenge in the company -- and this was years ago, so I'm not really sure what the current condition is -- the hotel made so much cash that, despite any creative ideas about alternative uses, it didn't make any sense to touch it. It's just intuitive, right across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. They fill it up. It's just a cash machine."

This is a very interesting interview, which can be found at http://www.observer.com/2007/gregory-peck-build-boutique-hotel

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1/20/2008

Yesterday was the 89th anniversary of the beloved hotel, we held our second rally, and I have to say it was a very poor turn out.  Only 3 people showed up.  However thanks to those who did.  We did have a positive result though, we meet a very nice girl who works in Joe O's who took an interest in our cause, and will be passing along our flyers and helping spread the word.  We also meet up with some of the bell staff, who was surprisingly unaware of the anniversary date.  Either way we still managed to get the word out, as well as papering the MTA subways, and LIRR.   A very good friend of our fight did some homework and came up with a ton of old newspaper clippings about the hotel.  Check it out here.

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1/16/2008

Just a reminder, we are holding our rally for the Hotel Penn on Saturday the 19th from 9am to 11am, right in front of the hotel.  Come out and show your support!  Click here for a copy of the flyer we will be handing out, feel free to make up as many copies as you want.

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1/8/2008

Well this is got to be the best news I have had to date, it looks like Merrill Lynch is going to stay put after all.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119982704876175471.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/idUSN0853305820080108

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1/8/2008

I spoke with jack Taylor of the CB5 and HDC today.  He informed me that once the RFE has been submitted, it becomes a matter of public record with the city council.  This makes it "on the books" in a manor, and he informed me that it could take up to a year or more before they respond back with the official acknowledgement.  All we can do at this point is to wait and see.

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1/6/2008

 

The letter from the HDC arrived yesterday, I managed to scan it in today.  A copy went to Manhattan Borough President, City Council Speaker, State Senator, CB5, and the Assemblymen.  Click  here for the letter.

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It's amazing what you can find when you aren't even looking for it.  When I went looking for a nice picture of the hotel from the early part of the 20th century, I found this link:

http://kohrman.blogspot.com/2007/01/pennsylvania-6-5000.html

It's funny how this blog is almost 1 year old to date.

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1/3/2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

And we are off to a great start!  I just received word from Jack Taylor (CB5 Board member and Historic District Council Member) that the HDC has endorsed the recommendation to preserve the Hotel Pennsylvania!!  The HDC has drafted a letter requesting that the LPC schedule a public hearing for the Hotel.  The official letter will be posted here in a few days.

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12/29/07

I want to thank the people listed below for generously donating what they could to help us.  Please remember it's not too late, all donations are tax deductible, a great way to get in those last minute tax breaks.


Dec. 8, 2007 Payment From Stefan Kraft $20.00 USD
Dec. 6, 2007 Payment From Greg Earnest $25.00 USD
Dec. 2, 2007 Payment From Jennifer Caban $25.00 USD
Dec. 1, 2007 Payment From Joshua David $100.00 USD

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12/21/2007

Sorry for the delay in updating my regular job had me traveling for a while, but now that I am back we are geared to take on the new year with a fury as fierce as before, if not more so.  As you know the "Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project" is likely to have a huge impact on the Hotel and its surrounding buildings.  When I asked Assemblymen Gottfried his position on the project, I received back the following letter.

Also we apparently made page 8 of this morning AM-NY.  Check it out here.

Also in related news of AM-NY:

http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-endangered-nyc-flash,0,3533517.flash
http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-endangered1221,0,6213239.story
 

It's amazing the history of NY, that so many people seem to forget.  Lets start the new year right by not letthing this happen in your neighborhood.  Don't wait for someone else to get the ball rolling, be the one in your area that stands p and say "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"

 

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12/7/2007

Last night was the Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project hearing, in which "members of the public" were asked to speak on their thoughts of this project.  Since most of this was kept secret, no one but the people involved really knew that they could register to speak.  We were not able to arrive in time to speak about this project, but I did manage to get a copy of it.

 

Expanded Moynihan/Penn Station Redevelopment Project
Draft Scope of Work for the Preparation of a
Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Pursuant to the State
Environmental Quality Review Act and an Environmental Impact Statement
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act

Here is the cover letter that was also given out drafted by the "Empire State Development Corporation"

 

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12/6/2007

The official "political muscle" letter has arrived, yesterday I received a copy of the letter that was sent to the Chair of the LPC by Assembly Member, Richard N. Gottfried 75th District.  Thanks to his support for helping this cause.  Click here for a copy of the letter.

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12/5/2007

We received this letter from David Statler a descendant of E.M. Statler, asking this for hotel to be saved!

This letter was received by SaveTheHotel on MySpace:

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12/5/2007

On Thursday, the State will hold its first public hearing on its latest plans for Moynihan Station. We encourage everyone to participate, either in person or in writing. Specifically, the hearing will address what is called the "scoping" document for Moynihan Station (available at "http://www.empire.state.ny.us/moynihanstation/default.asp").

This document is the first step in the environmental approvals process. It describes the general scope of the project and outlines what types of environmental impacts will have to be looked at in the upcoming Environmental Impacts Statement.

If you are able to comment in person, the hearing will be on Thursday, December 6, from 4 to 8 pm at the Farley Building (entrance at 380 West 33rd Street, Room 4500). If you prefer to comment in writing, write to Rebecca Pellegrini,

Moynihan Station Development Corporation, 633 Third Avenue, 36th floor, New York, NY 10017. The deadline for written comments is December 17.

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12/3/2007

Rally on the 19th of January, to celebrate the hotels 89th B-day!!!

What better way to celebrate the hotel's 89th birthday then to hold a rally to stop it from being torn down?  We hope to have a better turn out this time then last.  If you can arrange to be in NYC on that day, please let us know.

Everyone interested in attending please let us know.


Hotel@2600.com

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12/2/2007

As mentioned before, we are always working on new projects.  Above is what is the first of many to come.  Its known as stickam, and its a live feed from the internet of whatever we want to show.

We broadcast Every T, W, F, Sa, Su @ 8pm.

 

Are you into facebook or myspace? Well, we're there too!

http://www.myspace.com/savethehotel

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7351286843

Ok so you're not into all of that?  Then how about meetup.com?  Check us out and join us if you want to help!

http://movement.meetup.com/33/ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

12/1/2007

What a better way to start off the new month then to have another newspaper carry our story?  Many thanks to Chris Lombardi, and her photographer Jefferson Siegel of Chelsea Now, for braving the blistering cold during our protest.  Check out her article below.

http://chelseanow.com/cn_62/upstartsview.html

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11/30/2007

New projects are being developed as we write this.  One of which is a live streaming feed of our own internet TV channel, known as stickam.  You can view this channel by going to http://www.stickam.com/profile/savethehotel.

We are also working on a documentary of the legendary building.

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11/29/2007

Special thanks to Jennifer Hale of NYC for kindly donating.  Jennifer was the first person to donate, lets not have her be the only one.  Show your support, donate what you can to help us help the hotel.

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11/28/2007

Full version of the resolution send to the city by the CB5 is now available.  Click here for the full report.

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11/27/2007

New letters from some more supporters

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11/25/2007

The full CB5 landmark hearing is now available online.  One of our members that couldn't make it that day, sent this speech in via proxy.    The full video (in 9 parts) can be found on YouTube, or by clicking here

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11/24/2007

New Letters from some more people who don't want to see the hotel destroyed.  If you want to get involved or just want to speak your mind drop us a line.  Write to HOTEL@2600.com or Gregory.Jones@savethehotel.org.

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11/23/2007

Successful Rally.

The Rally to get the word out was a great success today.  Thanks to everyone who turned out to support our cause.  We got some great reactions from people who remember the hotel from back when it was young.  Special thanks goes out to the crew of NYC2600 for helping out.  Also thanks to Chris Lombardi from Chelsea Now, paper and the reporters at WWOR

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11/22/2007

Apparently we are not the only ones that want to save the hotel.  In a recent editorial response of New York Post's Steve Cuozzo's articles, people speak out in favor of preserving the hotel. 

http://www.nypost.com/seven/11222007/postopinion/letters/hosannas_for_a_hotel_33287.htm

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11/16/2007

RALLY ON BLACK FRIDAY TO SAVE THE HOTEL PENN!!

Mark your calendar: We're taking our message to the streets on Black Friday (November 23rd) to keep Hotel Pennsylvania!  The rally will be taking place from 9 am to 11 am.   More Info will be posted shortly!

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11/14/2007

Sources close to this story, have told us that although the city has not made a "formal" evaluation yet, that "their staff already evaluated the Hotel Penn over the summer and determined that, in their view, it did not merit landmark status, adding, 'In this case, it's unlikely that we'd change our minds.'"

This being said the LPC, does not have the final say.  Their vote can be over ruled by the Mayors Office (as can the LPC over rule him by a 2/3 majority vote.)

Click on the link below to download the RFE (Request for Evaluation), and tell the city what you think of the Hotel Penn.

NYC RFE Form

Send the forms to:

Mary Beth Betts, Director of Research
Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10007

 

Make sure you send your forms with as much history information as possible.  The more prepared we are, the better off we will be.

More information on the designation process can be found at:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/faqs/faq_designation.shtml

Finally, It's important that people speak with the Community Board 5 and join their efforts in the process moving forward. You will want to contact your local elected officials, with a letter, and provide information about the vote of the board and related facts that can be used to inform their position.

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11/9/2007

Despite the misinformation posted on CB5's website, pertaining to the location of last nights hearing, we managed to get quite an impressive turn out. Not only from 2600 members, but from the Hotel Penn's staff, and Hotel union reps.  As a result we won a major victory in the battle against Vornado.

With an astonishing 21 to 8 victory the members of the Community Board 5 voted to pass the resolution to recommend landmark status of the hotel.

Many thanks to Neo of
NYC2600 for video taping the meeting, who is also in the process of editing it and will get it up on line soon.

Thanks to Emmanuel Goldstein and the members of
2600 Magazine & WBAI (99.5 FM) for giving us the ability to get air time, this past Wednesday, on his weekly radio show "Off The Hook".

Below are the PDF copies of Thursday's Community Board meeting Agenda and Resolutions.

Thursday November 8th, 2007 Agenda
Thursday November 8th, 2007 Resolutions

I would also like to thank the people below for writing in with their support letters that were read at the meeting.  Below are copies of the letters.

Anne Krauss
Mona Temchin
Michael J. Ferris

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Recent News

The New York Observer - (November 9th, 2007)
The New York Observer - (November 6th, 2007)

Sources close to the project have found out that Vornado has hired the lobbyist group of:

PATRICIA LYNCH ASSOCIATES, INC
677 BROADWAY
SUITE 1105
ALBANY, NY 12207
(518) 432-9220

Paper work has been filed with the New York Temporary State Commission on Lobbying

Click here for details on the application

 

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11/8/2007

Tonight is the full Community Board 5 meeting.  We need as many people as possible to show up, and speak up in favor of keeping this hotel alive.  If you wish to speak please show up early, and register at the front door.  The meeting is at

227 West 27th St @ 7th Ave.
Building "C", 2nd floor
Haft Auditorium

The meeting starts at 6pm, so show up early, and start talking to people about how you feel.  The more people we can sway, the better our chances!

If you can not make the meeting, please send us an email to hotel@2600.com, telling us what you think about the Hotel.  We will read it to the CB5 members on your behalf.

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11/5/2007

Last week's meeting of the local Community Board 5 in New York City resulted in a 6-1 vote to pursue landmark status for the Hotel Pennsylvania, home of the HOPE conferences, and a magnet for tourists from all over the globe for nearly a century. This means the matter will be heard in front of the full board on November 8th. A strong turnout is essential and those who can't attend can still participate.

The fight to save the hotel faces an uphill battle for a number of reasons. It simply is not luxurious enough for many tastes. The rooms are not generally huge as they are quite old. And while the outside of the structure is quite impressive, much of the inside has been changed and refurbished over the decades. Many New Yorkers simply don't see the need for another old structure to be preserved. But New Yorkers are also the least likely to benefit from the hotel in the first place. People from all over the world stay there when visiting New York because of its remarkable accessibility (right across the street from Penn Station) and prices that are about half that of other hotels.  So, regardless of what many think of the architecture and the current condition of the place, there is history and there is significance. Most of all, there is a need. That need will certainly not be filled by yet another huge financial tower.

If you'd like to speak at the meeting on Thursday, it starts at 6 pm and will be at the Fashion Institute of Technology at 227 West 27th Street at 7th Avenue, Building "C", Haft Auditorium, 2nd Floor. People who wish to speak on behalf of the hotel's preservation will have three minutes in which to do so. You must sign up upon arrival if you wish to do this. For those who can't attend (including those of you from overseas who make the hotel your home when coming to HOPE), there are two ways in which you can participate. You can send
mail to us and we will bring a printout to the meeting on Thursday or you can email the community board directly expressing your concerns. Please be nice and articulate. These people can be very helpful.

There are other fronts to fight for the preservation of the hotel which are being discussed at our
online forum. Please join the discussion and spread the word.

The Original Penn Station c 1900

 

Recent Articles:

 

On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 8:27 am, Denise Myers wrote:
I was so sad to hear that the Statler Hilton will be demolished. My
mother worked there in the 60's and always spoke so highly of it. My
mother even remembers the phone number PA65000! She sang it so many
times when we were kids anytime we were booking a hotel room. We even
had my sister's wedding at a Hilton because my mom only wants to patron
Hilton. This year is my mom and dad's 40th Wedding Anniversary. My
sisters and I are putting them up at the Statler Hilton (Pennsylvania
Hotel) for the last time I guess. They have not been inside since
their wedding reception and honeymoon.

Concerned New Yorker,
Denise Myers

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I first visited New York City in 1963, when Pennsylvania Station's fate had already been decided but not yet executed. I still remember how hard it was for me, a young child at the time, to comprehend how that magnificent and apparently permanent structure which stood before me could be deliberately destroyed within a year, even though everyone knew it was the wrong thing to do. In fact, I did not really believe that this could or would happen. As a young adult I returned to New York to live, and saw that indeed the old Pennsylvania Station had been destroyed. Since that time, I've taken comfort in viewing the facade of the Hotel Pennsylvania unchanged from my first visit to New York. I have thought of it as an enduring link to my first visit to Penn Station in 1963, as well as appreciating it in its own right as a fragment of a magnificent past. At some future time I hope to stand with my grandchildren in front of the lovely facade of Hotel Pennsylvania. I will tell them that this hotel was built at the same time as their great grandmother (my mother) was born, and that when I was their age I had the good fortune to see its older and more magnificent sister building across the street. Please, let us learn from past mistakes. That which seems enduring is in fact fragile and in need of protection. Preserve this link to the past, so that it can in actuality be the enduring link which I've long imagined it to be.

Anne Krauss _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ladies and gentlemen of the board, My father tuned 81 years old this year. Often, he would recount stories of his childhood in Canada, listening to the radio broadcasts from the Hotel Pennsylvania. When I was able to stay there a few times myself, as I was attending conferences there, it was my turn to tell him the stories. I told him stories of how accommodating the staff of the Hotel is. They are very professional, friendly, and they really do shatter the myth of what New Yorkers are supposed to be like. They provide a clean and convenient place. I urge you to please grant this hotel landmark status. The tearing down of this hotel would negatively affect the area, economy, and the city. Many jobs will be lost, and children will not be immune by the loss of their parents' jobs. Countless millions of dollars will be lost, and commuters and tourists will be left without affordable, comfortable hotel rooms. We're New Yorkers. We're proud of our city; its past and present. This hotel is a sweet reminder of just how much the city had to offer, and still does. By saving this hotel, it will show that we do, in fact, care about our history, and fellow New Yorkers' livelihoods. Our city is the Capitol of the World, and this hotel is well worth showing off. I ask you to please save this hotel. Save our history. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be heard.

 Michael J. Ferris

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I have memories of the Hotel Pennsylvania as the site of the original New Life Expo, before it moved to its current venue at the Hotel New Yorker. I would be sorry to see the last of the Hotel Pennsylvania. New York doesn't need any more generic office towers and shopping malls. The gritty charm and character of the city is being destroyed as large chain stores displace mom-and-pop businesses and historic sites are replaced by modern urban eyesores. For once, can the historical charm and value of a place override the needs of huge real estate developers who seem to have little regard for the ordinary people that live here? As the Joni Mitchell song says poignantly, "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot". Not that the Hotel Pennsylvania is paradise--but you get the idea.

Mona Temchin

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"Live Long & Prosper"

Please do not ask me what year(s) the INTERNATIONAL STAR TREK CONVENTION took over the STATLER HILTON, because it was more years ago than I really want to remember. But, if my hazy memory serves, we had the pleasure of using the Statler's gracious facilities on at least two occasion's. At the beginning of the STAR TREK phenom., the Hotel's in Manhattan became home to the ISTC, I especially remember the STATLER HILTON, because it made traveling
from my home in Washington Hts. so easy to get to. Also, I remember something else about the then STATLER HILTON, which some of you may remember, the escalator, which was right in the main lobby, just after you came up the stairs, this escalator, allowed everyone attending the STAR TREK CONVENTION quick access to the mezzanine and the dealer's room above the lobby. did you also know, that the STATLER HILTON was also the home to July 4TH COMIC ART CONVENTIONS?

There is so much history, that goes with this hotel, whether you call it the HOTEL PENNSYLVANIA, the STATLER HILTON, the OMNI PLAZA, those of us in our late 40's, early 50's and older, remember meeting, greeting and making friends at the building across the street from MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. It demands LANDMARK STATUS, not only for the rich architecture of the exterior, but the interior as well.

Stephen Hartman

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Hello.  I really hope that the Hotel will be landmarked. Interior and exterior. I think some people just do not realize, or have forgotten about the historic and beautiful parts that still do exist-such as the stairs that once lead to the mezzanine level of the lobby the elevator call panels, and the historic formal dining room/cafe rouge.  So much of our historic buildings (Theatres, Hotels, cafeterias) have met the wrecker's Ball ) and the price is a heavy one. I think that some people really need to learn from past mistakes, and not repeat them. If we lose Hotel Pennsylvania, we lose more than just a hotel, we lose our historic heritage. it would be the shame of the century, Greed is destroying our city. The Hotel Pennsylvania should be viewed as a monument of our glorious past , and as a gift to future generations of New Yorkers , and the world.
Thank you very much.
Sincerely,


Yoichiro Yoda
Artist/Historian

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To Whom It May Concern:

 

Please strongly consider issuing National Landmark status to the Hotel Pennsylvania.  This hotel is among the grand structures in this nation and should be preserved.  Other old hotels such as Detroit's Book-Cadillac, Cleveland and St. Louis' Statler Hotels have been preserved and restored into useful buildings and there is no reason that this hotel couldn't do the same.  It seems a waste of great historical significance to just tear down this hotel for just another office building to take its place.  A relative of mine, E. M. Statler, operated this grand hotel for many years and it was one of the best hotels in New York.  There is no reason why it can not be so again.

 

Regards,

 David Statler

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From:New York Lost
myspace.com/newyorklost

Date: 05/12/2007

Subject: preserving the hotel

Body: Hey,

Thanks again for adding me to your page. It really bothers me that
these greedy developers are bulldozing places like the Hotel Penn.
Jackie Kennedy was responsible for saving Grand Central Station. You
need a high profile backer like that to save this historic landmark
from destruction. Otherwise, people will not pay any attention.

-Reed