Ambassador Grill and UN Plaza Hotel Lobby designated as a New York City Interior Landmark


Docomomo US Staff


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Docomomo US is pleased to announce our efforts to landmark Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo’s Ambassador Grill and UN Hotel Lobby interior (now ONE UN New York) have been successful. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to designate the spaces making them New York City’s 118th Interior Landmark. The Ambassador Grill and UN Hotel Lobby join the ranks of many celebrated interiors including Grand Central Station, Radio City Music Hall and the Ford Foundation (also designed by Roche).

On January 18th, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission confirmed our evaluation that the Ambassador Grill and Hotel Lobby are significant and rare examples of 1970s and 1980s late modern and post-modern design, and among the best public spaces (modern or any style) in New York City. These interiors are incredibly rich, emotional spaces – two qualities not always associated with modernism that were designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Kevin Roche, a true master in his prime showcasing inventive, humanistic and technologically sophisticated design solutions. With its angular shapes, polished surfaces and a dramatic use of mirror and light, the design is a reflection of its time and of the highest possible quality.

Speaking on the impact of the designation, Liz Waytkus, Executive Director of Docomomo US noted, “We are delighted to see these important and dazzling spaces get the respect and credit they deserve. Designating the Ambassador Grill and UN Hotel Lobby offers the preservation movement a chance to celebrate but also reflect as their designation confirms the continuum of the landmarking process.”

Docomomo US would like to thank all of our members, chapters and partners who supported this effort. Within the span of one year, these rare interiors went from nearly lost forever to designated landmarks. The designation speaks volumes to their integrity, significance and value in addition to the value of our coordinated network of preservationists, activists, architects and scholars.

Thank you to the Ambassador Grill coalition of supporters including: Daniel Paul, Docomomo US/SoCal; Kyle Johnson, Docomomo US NY/Tristate; Tara Kelly, Municipal Art Society; Simeon Bankoff, Historic Districts Council; Peg Breen, New York Landmarks Conservancy; Theodore Grunewald, Independent Preservationist; Alicia Leuba, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Jay DiLorenzo, Preservation League of New York State; Wesley Kavangh, KRJDA; Robert AM Stern, RAMSA; Alexandra Lange, Curbed; Paul Goldberger, Vanity Fair; Belmont Freeman, Belmont Freeman Architects; Allan Hess, Architect; Kelly Carroll, Historic Districts Council; Tim Hayduk, Center for Architecture; Eeva Liisa Pelkonen, Architectural Historian; Felix Burrichter, Pin Up Magazine.