The Algonquin Hotel Celebrates The Hirschfeld Century on view thru March

The Algonquin Hotel Celebrates The Hirschfeld Century on view thru March

New York City’s history is fascinating, and a lot of that history is wrapped up in restaurants, attractions and hotels that you can still visit today. One such place is The Algonquin Hotel. I had the pleasure of seeing a cabaret act at the venerable property, which opened in 1902, a few years ago and was instantly struck by The Algonquin’s unwavering connection to the heyday of Old New York.

The historic site was a gathering place for a who’s who of early 20th century writers, actors and more. Probably the most famous of The Algonquin’s visitors was the Algonquin Round Table—a group that included some of the founders and well-known writers of NYC’s most popular periodicals, including Dorothy Parker, Franklin Adams, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott and more—who would gather at the hotel for lunch and crack jokes and share witticisms.

If you are a fan of NYC’s history, you can see it immortalized in a new art installation at the hotel: The Algonquin Hotel Celebrates The Hirschfeld Century. On display in the hotel lobby thru March 31, 2016, the installation features more than 30 oversized portraits by Al Hirschfeld, a self described “characterist,” frequenter of the hotel and longtime New York Times illustrator, that depict some of The Algonquin’s most notable residents.  

Famous faces on view include John Barrymore, Harpo Marx, Tennessee Williams and Ella Fitzgerald, as well as The Round Table members, including Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt and more. The installation also features artwork for the hit musical My Fair Lady (which was written in the hotel’s Lerner and Loewe’s suite), as well as portraits of Charlie Chaplin, Elvis Presley, Carol Channing, John Lithgow, David Letterman, Jack Lemmon, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laurel & Hardy, Fanny Brice & George Jessel, Frank Langella, Mary Martin, Issac Stern and more legendary Broadway, Hollywood and recording artists.

While viewing the artwork, make sure to stick around the lobby lounge for cocktails and bar bites, which are served daily starting at 11:30 a.m. This is also the perfect spot for pre-theater dining.


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