A blast from the Big Band past
During its heyday in the 40s and 50s, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey filled its ballrooms with the Big Band sound. Famous guests and tenants included John F. Kennedy (as senator during his run for the presidency), actors Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy, Heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali and Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The Brooklyn Dodgers were headquartered at the New Yorker for the 1941 World Series and Yankee Joe DiMaggio lived there while rehabilitating an injury during the baseball season.
Business began to decline in the 50s and 60s and the hotel closed its doors in 1972. In 1975 it was purchased by the Holy Spirit Association (also known as theUnification Church headed by Sun Myung Moon), which used it primarily as Moon's residence and for church business. In 1994 the Holy Spirit Association formed the New Yorker Hotel Management Company and the building was officially reopened on June 1, 1994 as a hotel, with 178 rooms available to the public. Renovations continued over the next five years increasing the total rooms to 860.
Since 2000 The New Yorker Hotel has been part of the Ramada Worldwide franchise (officially named The New Yorker Hotel, a Ramada Inn & Plaza). A $70 million renovation project began in 2007 to restore its Art Deco reputation and to add a modern edge and style. The renovation was completed in 2008.