new yorker illuminated sign

Iconic Building Signs of New York City: The New Yorker Hotel

The New Yorker Hotel, located at 481 Eighth Avenue in Manhattans Garment district, may not rank among New York grandest hotels, but the New Yorker has earned its spot in city lore by way iconic neon sign that sits atop the 40-story Midtown building. Instantly recognizable as an integral part of the New York City skyline, the red neon sign has become something of an institution in the world of famous and iconic signage.

Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building (1931) and the Chrysler Building (1930), the New Yorker was designed in the Art Deco style which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

During the 40’s and 50’s, the New Yorker was widely considered to be among New York’s most fashionable hotels, and routinely hosted many popular and notable figures such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and Fidel Castro. Inventor Nikola Tesla famously spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327, where he eventually died. The New York Observer noted that in the building’s heyday, “actors, celebrities, athletes, politicians, mobsters, the shady and the luminous—the entire Brooklyn Dodgers roster during the glory seasons—would stalk the bars and ballrooms, or romp upstairs”. In later years, the New Yorker would also host the famous boxer Muhammad Ali as he recuperated there after his pivotal 1971 fight against the great Joe Frazier at the Garden.

All the while, the iconic red-neon sign pictured above continued to lend it’s luminous support to the glamorous lights of the most famous city in the world, as it shall continue to do for many years to come…