• Our Story

    The making of an icon.

The Knickerbocker is a legendary New York landmark reborn. A haven of refined elegance ideally located at the corner of West 42nd and Broadway, in the heart of New York City, The Knickerbocker was the vision of John Jacob Astor IV that came to life in 1906. Here, famed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso and renowned American playwright George M. Cohan made their homes, and names like Rockefeller and Fitzgerald gathered in the bar, once known as the 42nd Street Country Club.

An iconic destination and treasured monument among Manhattan hotels, it has been reimagined into a sophisticated urban sanctuary mere blocks from Fifth Avenue, The Metropolitan Opera, Rockefeller Center, MoMA and Central Park, edging the bright lights of Broadway and the tranquility of Bryant Park.

Our Hotel

Elegant guest rooms and suites with incredible views and bespoke furnishings. Cuisine by Charlie Palmer, style by Ted Gibson, exclusive spa experiences, and a robust fitness program curated for today’s modern traveler add an air of posh authenticity. Crowning The Knickerbocker’s renowned location is St. Cloud, a spectacular rooftop bar atop Times Square. Perched enviably beneath the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball, it affords the most privileged views of the most visited place on earth.

Our History

The Knickerbocker is one of the original hotels to bring the magnitude of opulence to Times Square. Learn how John Jacob Astor IV’s stunning 1906 Beaux Arts hotel became such an iconic New York City landmark.

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The Knickerbocker we know today includes what was once the original structure of the former St. Cloud Hotel that was reimagined and expanded upon to become our hotel building today. In 1901, it was discovered that New York City’s planned subway system called for one of the tunnels to cross a small corner of the St. Cloud Hotel property, allowing access to the new railroad from the hotel basement.
New York City Subway
If You Build it They Will Come
The combination of planned travel access and the “building frenzy” in Longacre Square populated the area with entertainment venues, new playhouses, and wealth that brought undeniable value to the location that housed the St. Cloud Hotel. John Jacob Astor IV saw the opportunity, and shortly after, the Times printed “Talk of a new Broadway Hotel” that became today’s Knickerbocker.
On October 23, 1906, The Knickerbocker opened its doors on the southern end of the newly renamed Times Square, formerly Longacre Square. Built by John Jacob Astor IV, scion of one of America’s wealthiest families, The Knickerbocker was noted as “the model of perfect sophistication and refinement”, and the hotel was among a select few hotels and businesses centrally located, leading the trend of building highly stylized, luxury hotels.
John Jacob Astor IV Opens The Knickerbocker
The Glitterati
The Glitterati
Within months of its opening, The Knickerbocker had become the center of life in New York and perpetual activity. The hotel played host to the world’s biggest names in the earliest years of the 20th century. This is where celebrities, politicians, playwrights, activists, pilots, and war heroes came shoulder to shoulder with opera singers, Imperial Russian ballet dancers, and rambunctious sports luminaries.
From the overflowing parties and opulent dining and dancing to the undercover high-stakes gambling taking place in the private parlors upstairs, its iconic Beaux-Arts design, glamorous European luxury, and welcoming American hospitality made it “the” place to be for glitterati and dignitaries, while its legendary barroom became known as “The 42nd Street Country Club.” The Knickerbocker has hosted characters, launched careers, housed jurors, and seen business transactions beyond imagination.
The 42nd Street Country Club
42nd St Country Club
New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve celebrations have been a part of The Knickerbocker’s legacy since its inception. By 1904, Broadway and 42nd Street had already become packed on New Year’s Eve, with crowds so dense it brought traffic to a standstill. Area bars and restaurants were at capacity, and on the marked occasion, women were allowed to drink alongside men. An enforced dress code kept the venue classy where over-the-top drinking and dining, carnival toys, confetti, and live music and performances kept the guests enraptured in fun and frivolity. In 1907, a 700-pound sphere built of wood and metal, covered in 100 lightbulbs was lowered down a flagpole at midnight, and the World-Famous Times Square Ball Drop was born. What better place to see such a spectacle than from the Knickerbocker rooftop?
The stunning Beaux Arts hotel once played host to names like Enrico Caruso, Rockefeller and Fitzgerald, who gathered here in 1912 in what was then known as “The 42nd Street Country Club.”
The 42nd Street Country Club
42nd St Country Club
1921 - The Knick
The Party’s Over
Open for just fifteen years, The Knickerbocker was one of three entities—along with the subway and the New York Times—whose arrival at the crossroads of 42nd Street and Broadway transformed sleepy Times Square into New York City’s biggest tourist destination. The onset of Prohibition marked the beginning of the end for the hotel renowned for its lavish parties and nightlife, and in 1921 the property was converted into offices.
Designated as a New York City Landmark in 1988, The Knickerbocker is now a one-of-a-kind destination in the heart of New York City, the best address in Times Square that provides elegant hospitality.
Landmark Hotel
Knick Exterior
A Landmark Reborn
Today the Knickerbocker’s gorgeous Beaux-Arts façade is juxtaposed with a contemporary elegant aesthetic within, a stunning transformation led by acclaimed architectural design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates.

Did You Know?

Fun Facts About The Knick
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