• FlowerRoom

    Our History

    Step Back in Time

Iconic destination. Treasured monument. “The” place to be for glitterati and dignitaries in the early part of the 20th century. From the rumored first-ever martini to our renowned New Year’s Eve rooftop celebrations, The Knickerbocker is a legendary New York landmark. Born in 1906 of a visionary who jumped at opportunities that shaped New York City, The Knickerbocker played a significant role in defining its history as one of three entities—along with the subway system 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.

What’s in a Name?

Our rich history has much deeper roots than our official beginnings in 1906. Originally a surname shared by some Dutch-descended New Yorkers, the name Knickerbocker evolved to become the nickname for all New Yorkers and the moniker for a literary magazine, a beer brand, a bridge (later renamed Brooklyn Bridge), one of the first organized baseball teams (founded in 1845), and eventually, the name of New York’s own NBA team, the New York Knicks.

Knick Exterior
Public Space

Let’s Rewind.

  • 1901
    New York City Subway
    The city’s planned subway system called for one of the tunnels to cross right at our doorstep.
  • 1901
    If You Build it They Will Come
    Planned travel access brought new venues, new playhouses, and more to Longacre Square.
  • 1906
    John Jacob Astor IV Opens The Knickerbocker
    On October 23, 1906, The Knickerbocker opened its doors on newly renamed Times Square.
  • 1906
    The Glitterati
    The Knickerbocker became the center of life in New York, hosting the world’s biggest names.
    The Glitterati
  • 1906
    The 42nd Street Country Club
    With dining, dancing, and parties, the hotel was the place to be, and its barroom was legendary.
    42nd St Country Club
  • 1907
    New Year’s Eve
    Broadway and 42nd Street drew crowds on New Year’s Eve even before the Times Square Ball Drop was born.
  • 1912
    The 42nd Street Country Club
    A staggering cast of characters gathered at The Knickerbocker barroom, including some of the most famous celebrities.
    42nd St Country Club
  • 1921
    The Party’s Over
    The onset of Prohibition marked the beginning of the end for the hotel renowned for its lavish parties and nightlife.
    1921 - The Knick
  • 1988
    Landmark Hotel
    The Knickerbocker was designated as a New York City Landmark.
  • 2015
    A Landmark Reborn
    A stunning transformation led by acclaimed architectural design firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates transforms the hotel.
    Knick Exterior
Saints & Sinners

The original Knickerbocker was just as well known for the artists who frequently visited as it was for the impressive collection gracing its walls. To honor our artistic past, The Knickerbocker commissioned acclaimed New York artist Molly Crabapple to create The Saints & Sinners of The Knickerbocker, a tribute to the illustrious history of the hotel. It tells the stories of the legendary events, inventions, and characters from 1906–1921, from the rumored invention of the martini to F. Scott Fitzgerald writing “Mr. Icky” in his room upstairs.


Mollys Full Mural
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