The 43-storey New Yorker Hotel was built in 1929 and opened its doors on January 2, 1930. Much like its contemporaries, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, the New Yorker is designed in the Art Deco style that was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. The building's pyramidal, set-back tower structure largely resembles that of the Empire State Building, which lies just a couple blocks due east on 34th Street. For many years, the New Yorker Hotel was New York's largest hotel.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the hotel hosted a number of popular Big Bands while notable figures such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and even Fidel Castro stayed here. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life in near-seclusion in Suite 3327, largely devoting his time to feeding pigeons while occasionally meeting dignitaries. However, by the late 1960s, with both the passing of the Big Band era as well as the construction of more modern hotels, the hotel slowly lost profitability and closed its doors in April 1972.
Different proposals were offered for the use of the building, and in 1975 it was purchased by the Unification Church. Under new management and following extensive renovation, the New Yorker Hotel finally re-opened its doors as a hotel on 1 June 1994. Since 2000 it has been part of the Ramada franchise.