The Hotel Edison – Art Deco refuge in Times Square

Plaque outside the 47th Street entrance.

Bronze Plaque outside the 47th Street entrance. The image of Edison is a replica of the one used on a medallion created by Julio Kilenyi.

So much of Times Square’s history has either been torn down or is buried under a generic world of themed restaurants and stores that it is a pleasant relief that Hotel Edison remains. It’s lobby, is a place to sit and catch your breath in a wonderful Art Deco setting. In the early 1990’s the lobby was given an Art Deco face lift, while not a restoration of it’s 1931 appearance there are enough surviving original details that can make you feel that you have stepped back into the 1930’s. The six murals that line the lobby are sensitive 1990’s creations that evoke the of WPA murals of the late 1930’s.

The Hotel Edison, designed by Herbert J. Krapp, formally opened on January 17, 1931. Thomas Edison, turned on the lights in the 26 story hotel, by pressing a telegraph key in his home in Llewellyn Park, Orange, New Jersey. One of the features of the Edison, that was mentioned in all the advertisements, was that each of the 1,000 rooms featured a radio, a novelty at the time. Over the years, the Edison was used in at least two period films, the south entrance way can be seen in The Godfather and Bullets Over Broadway.  Below are some photos of the interior Art Deco details of the lobby.

 

Up until the late 1980’s the Edison was a prominent building in the Times Square skyline, now it is completely hidden by all the tall buildings that have been constructed along Broadway. Here are some photos of the exterior details of the hotel.

So the next time you visit Manhattan, and you find yourself in the Times Square area, and you want some relief from the present day, step in the Edison and back into the 1930’s.

 Chris & Anthony

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