Martinique hotel boasts beauty and historical significance
Around the same period, Macy’s, Pennsylvania Station and the extended PATH train made their celebrated debut. It was the right time for William R.H. Martin, owner and namesake of the Hotel Martinique, to submit plans to substantially increase the size of the hotel. Martin hired the Hotel Martinique’s original architect, Henry Hardenberg, for the redesign and expansion. Hardenberg, a slender man who favored a starched high collar and pearl stickpin, was known as one of the greatest architects of his time for building “castles in the air.” His artistry was built on structural strength that has endured for generations.
According to Christopher Gray, an architectural historian, “Hardenbergh designed buildings for long-term use, not short-term profit.” Hardenberg also designed the Dakota Apartments, the original Waldorf Astoria at Fifth Avenue, the Plaza Hotel and the famed Willard Hotel in Washington, D.C. A parade of celebrities, including actress Lillian Russell, Diamond Jim Brady, John Wanamaker, Mark Twain and Oscar Hammerstein, were constant visitors at his architectural gems.
With the expansion completed, the Hotel Martinique re-opened on December 21, 1910 to a fanfare of smartly dressed guests who arrived in horse-drawn carriages. They were no doubt impressed when they entered the vast lobby, which featured an inspiring mosaic tile floor and an 18-story spiral staircase—both of which are intact today.
Significant to the legendary history of the Martinique is the formation of the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA). On April 10, 1916, department store magnate, Rodman Wanamaker, met with other prominent golfers at the Hotel Martinique to sign the constitution forming the PGA of America.
On August 31, 2011, the PGA Gallery at Radisson Martinique on Broadway officially opened in grand style with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the hotel's general manager and members of the PGA. To celebrate the historic event, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed August 31st PGA Day in New York City. Radisson Martinique on Broadway was presented with a proclamation to be displayed in the new PGA Gallery at the Martinique.
Just steps from the Martinique, construction of the new Empire State Building began on March 17, 1930. Over a year later, President Hoover pressed a button in Washington, D.C. that officially opened and turned on the Empire State Building’s illuminations for the first time. At that same moment, guests celebrated at the Martinique by lifting their glasses and toasting their new neighbor, the Empire State Building.
On the register of Historic Hotels of America, Radisson Martinique on Broadway still stands in the heart of the excitement of Midtown Manhattan and near the Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square, Chelsea Art Galleries, and SoHo bistros and restaurants. Just as it was during the Gilded Age, the hotel remains a symbol of grand hospitality in the same stunning Beaux-Art Building of 1896.