We’ve been hearing so much about the redevelopment of the Knickerbocker — a Times Square hotel that was opened in 1906 by John Jacob Astor. The building itself heaves with history: The martini is said to have been invented here. Its subterranean bar was once home to Maxfield Parrish’s Old King Cole mural that now hangs in the St. Regis. It even once had its own underground doorway, so patrons could enter from the subway. Plus, this opening would give Times Square something it doesn’t yet have — a true 5-star hotel.
Now fully refurbished and restored to its original use – the building was used as offices and private residences between 1920 and 2013 – it’s (almost) ready to open. Its Managing Director Jeff David recently gave us a tour of the building, which will reopen in February 2015.
Some eye-popping details: The Knickerbocker’s rooftop bar, which lets guests sit within arm’s reach of the copper detailing on the mansard roof. It would also give them a prime – and we do mean prime – view of the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve. Like, possibly the best view in the city. We can imagine that the bar’s private tables, which occupy the roof’s corners, will fetch an incredible premium each December 31. Here’s a sneak peek at the roof itself, and at some of the plush, understated rooms.