Breakfast Autocrat, Hotel New Yorker, New York, 1950s
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table is a collection of essays written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 and 1858. They take the form of a one-sided dialogue between the author and other residents of a New England Boarding House. This lovely literary nod by the 2,500 room Hotel New Yorker for its breakfast menu shows that the management knew their clientele very well indeed. The 1940s and 1950s saw the Art Deco styled New Yorker at the peak of its popularity and it was widely regarded as one of New York's most fashionable hotels. Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey played there and 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". The hotel went through a succession of owners until it was finally bought by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 1975 for $5.6 million. The building was converted for use by the church's members. It became a hotel again in 1994 with 178 rooms and after further redevelopment the Hotel New Yorker now has over 900 guest bedrooms.