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Reborn Knickerbocker Hotel Retains Little of Old, Except Name

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The born-again Knickerbocker Hotel continues to chug toward its grand reopening in the fall after two years of a thorough, $240 million renovation. Although the hotel built by John Jacob Astor IV only remained open for 15 years, it gained the early 1900's notoriety and esteem amongst the city elite that developer Felcor Lodging Trust is banking on today. "You can't reproduce the history of the Knickerbocker anywhere else," the hotel's managing director Jeff David told the Post, "We have a story to tell, rather than another brand opening on another block."

The new "Knick" will have 330 guest rooms with rates starting at $500, and amenities ranging from a rooftop bar with "skypods" to three Charlie Palmer-run eateries. It seems the developers are obligingly trying to include the building's history amongst its sleek, new interiors, but really, how much commonality can be found between an early 20th and 21st century hotel in Times Square.

One of the hotel's four suites will be named after Knickerbocker resident, world-famous tenor Enrico Caruso. The building's Beaux-Arts exterior will also largely look the same, and so will the the long-locked subterranean door crowned by the Knickerbocker Hotel sign in the Times Square subway. While the door once lead to a ritzy underground restaurant, it will unfortunately remained locked, and the room beyond used as storage. But, Steve Cuozzo writes, "riders will know that, for the first time in nearly 100 years, there's a hotel with a heartbeat just beyond."
· Sneak peek at new Knickerbocker Hotel [NYP]
· Born-Again Knickerbocker Hotel Reveals Interior Renderings [Curbed]
· All Knickerbocker Hotel coverage [Curbed]