Ambassador Grill calendared for Interior Landmark Designation


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In a stunning turn of events, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously this week to hear the UN Plaza Hotel (now ONE UN New York owned by Millennium Hotels and Resorts) lobby and Ambassador Grill as the city's 118th interior landmark. 

Meenakshi Srinivasan, Chair of the LPC said in her remarks this was an exciting designation for a number of reasons as it reflects the values of its time, and is different from any designation the Commission has ever seen before. Described as remarkable examples of "cusp architecture", Kevin Roche's lobby is in fact the first example of postmodernism to be considered for calendaring in New York City. Chair Srinivasan added that this designation confirms the evolution over time of the Commission and strongly recommended the spaces for a hearing and designation. The public hearing date for the spaces has been set for updated November 22, 2016 (October 25, 2016). 
Docomomo US is pleased to see this action move forward as the Ambassador Grill recently reopened earlier this month. Docomomo US would like to thank Daniel Paul, late Modern expert of Docomomo US/SoCal, Kyle Johnson of Docomomo US NY/Tristate in addition to friends, colleagues and partner organizations near and far who met the call for action when these spaces were closed late last year.  
Landmarks Commission Votes to Calendar Ambassador Grill and Hotel Lobby(from the Landmarks Preservation Commission website):
On September 20, 2016 the LPC voted unanimously to calendar for designation the United Nations Hotel Ambassador Grill and Hotel Lobby. These rooms are significant examples of Late and Post-Modern design by the internationally-acclaimed architectural firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Lavish and well preserved, these sparkling public interiors skillfully blend modern and historical forms. Completed seven years apart, they incorporate distinct stylistic vocabularies that express the shifting character of American architecture in late 1970s and early 1980s. Calendaring is the first step in the designation process; the next step is the public hearing, which will take place on November 22 (note correction from previously stated October 25 date). For more information and a photo, click here. VIDEO of the hearing is available online.
Additional coverage of the Ambassador Grill:
Curbed - 9/20/16
UN Plaza Hotel’s iconic postmodern interiors could get NYC landmark status
Architect's Newspaper - 9/20/16
LPC votes to calendar Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo’s Ambassador Grill and Lobby
New York Times, James Barron - 2/8/16
Preservationists Worry About the Future of 2 Manhattan Spaces
Docomomo US - 1/18/16

Kevin Roche’s UN Plaza Ambassador Grill and Lobby Closed, Pending Demolition 

Docomomo US - 1/20/16
Update on Roche UN Plaza Ambassador Grill

Curbed, Alexandra Lange
Imminent Demolition Feared for United Nations Plaza Hotel's Iconic Postmodern Interior 

Curbed Staff
Architect Kevin Roche Talks Threatened Postmodern Designs & Power of Mirrored Interiors 

Architect's Newspaper, Audrey Wachs
Kevin Roche's Late Modern Interiors at the Ambassador Grill May be Demolished 

DNAinfo, Noah Hurowitz
UN Hotel's 'Disco Era' Interior Should be Landmarked, Preservationists Say 

Eater, Serena Dai
Iconic UN Hotel Restaurant At Risk of Demolition, Activists Say