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Grand opening nears for St. Regis rehab.

Grand opening nears for St. Regis rehab

"If we don't take care of the top, if we don't of the best in this city, we will cease to be the world capital we are," said David Beer of Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects on the nearly completed $100-plus million renovation of Manhattan's St. Regis Hotel.

Beer lamented the loss of other great hotels in New York City such as the old Waldorf Astoria and the Savoy.

The design/construction team recently held a press review to show off their ambitious undertaking for ITT Sheraton Corp. -- to restore the 365-room, 1904 Beaux Arts Hotel at 55th Street to "it's original beauty."

The three-year quest involved the restoration of the exterior landmark facade and the demolition and reconstruction of the meeting and guest rooms and the food and beverage facilities. Among the individual challenges were reframing the lobby, asbestos removal, and matching marble that was quarried in Italy 90 years ago.

In order to enlarge the room size -- some by 30 percent, the number of rooms was reduced to 557 to 365 -- comprising 313 rooms and 52 suites.

According to Beer, in addition to enlarging, they also aimed at creating a more "natural, easy, and beautiful" environment like "somebody's bedroom on Park Avenue or Fifth Avenue." And you can stay in one of these homey rooms for between $350 to $3,000 per night. Combining the best of the old and the new, each room will be serviced by an English-trained butler and everything in the room -- lights, temperature, television -- is controlled through the telephone with a display screen that speaks whatever language the guest speaks.

The St. Regis meeting rooms can accommodate eight to 500 guests. There is a gourmet French restaurant, Lespinasse; the King Cole Bar and Lounge; and an elegant tea lounge. There is a health club and, in addition to a the St. Regis Boutique, Bijan, Godiva, and Christian Dior set up shop in the building.

The hotel will officially reopen in September, and the famed St. Regis Roof, a favorite for weddings throughout the years, is booked through January, according to one staff member. The project team included: construction manager -- Tishman Construction Corporation; architect -- Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects; interior design ITT Sheraton Corporation, Brennan Beer Gorman Monk/Interiors, and Graham Design; special consultants -- (M/E/P) Flack & Kurtz Consulting Engineer and (structural) DeSimone, Chaplin & Dobryn Consulting Engineers.

The hotel was originally the creation of John Jacob Astor, and was designed by architects Trowbridge and Livingston who also crafted the Hayden Planetarium and B' Altmans. Astor died in the Titanic sinking, and the hotel was sold to Duke Management, which, in 1927, added a less "opulent" addition to the hotel.

ITT Sheraton has operated the hotel since 1966. The decision to renovate came after they purchased the interest that had been held by a partner. Their vision was an establishment that would rival the great hotels of Europe.

Peter W. Tischmann, serves as vice president, managing director of the St. Regis. With Sheraton since 1972, Tischman has put his mark on many new luxury hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

PHOTO : The St. Regis Design Team at a recent press preview of the renovation project (L to R): David Cooper, Flack & Kurtz; Julia Monk, Brennan Beer Gorman Monk/Interiors; Lynn McMurtry ITT Sheraton Corp.; Jinnie Kim, Graham Design; David Beer and Gustin Tan, Brennan Beer Gorman Monk Interiors.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 17, 1991
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