Originally thought to be at an equivalent level of glamor to the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the St Regis was built by JJ Astor IV to be solely owned by him. Unlike the Waldorf-Astoria, which was co-owned by his cousin WW Astor, the St Regis was to take advantage of the growing popularity of the uptown location.
By the turn of the 20th Century, the area just south of Central Park was becoming the hottest spot in the city. To this day the intersection of 57th and 5th is still considered the most lavish 4 corners in Manhattan. Only briefly was it marginalized with the presence of the Warner Brothers Studio Store until being ousted by Louis Vuitton in 2004.
Meet the hotel that started it all.