- Built by John Jacob Astor IV, the Knickerbocker opened October 23, 1906. It had over 550 rooms and featured restaurants and bars on the first three floors. This storied hotel played host to literary greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald and artists like opera singer Enrico Caruso. According to lore, it was a Knickerbocker bartender named Martini di Arma di Taggia who invented the martini as we know it when he was asked to make one for John D. Rockefeller. In 1919, The Knickerbocker was where Red Sox manager Ed Barrow learned that he was losing Babe Ruth to the Yankees. When John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic in 1912, his son Vincent took over, eventually closing the hotel in 1921. It was then reopened as office spaces and in 2004 became a hotel again. The Knickerbocker was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and designated a New York City landmark in 1988.
Byron Company (New York, N.Y.)
[Hotel Knickerbocker, Southeast Corner 42nd St. and Broadway.]
Hotel Knickerbocker at 42nd Street and Broadway; Hotel Albany visible.