Major Renovations at the New York Helmsley Hotel

Rendering of the New York Helmsley Hotel's new lobbyThe New York Helmsley Hotel is getting a makeover! At right is a rendering of what the lobby is slated to look like when renovations are completed this fall (see the gallery below, or visit the New York Helmsley Hotel website for more renderings).

The iconic New York Helmsley was built in 1981, and is being renovated by the firm J/Brice, led by designer Jeff Orenstein. According to USA Today, the hotel will be receiving an 18-foot tall backlit alabaster wall in the lobby (shown), Brentano fabrics, Murano glass chandeliers, and Bisazza mosaic tiles. They’ll also be replacing the “the traditional reception desk with concierge-style check-in.”

In case you’re not versed in the Queen of Mean’s history, Leona Helmsley was a hatmaker’s daughter from Marbletown, New York. She worked her way up in a New York Real Estate firm after dropping out of high school (and a brief stint at a sewing factory), and eventually became a billionaire independent hotel operator. In the 90s, she famously served 18 months in prison for tax evasion, and she died in 2007 of congestive heart failure. People are still counting and assigning her money — $12 million of which she left to her Maltese, Trouble.

Back to the hotel. To commemorate this exciting renovation, a new website called The New York Helmsley Archives has been launched for “documenting the life of the New York Helmsley Hotel.” Check out their first couple of stories here.