While Paul and Nur take over the world, a prolific institution is closing. And, it’s quite sad even as my mother just called it a bit “tired.”

The New York Daily News reports “The Algonquin (59 West 44th Street), the hotel where literary figures of the 1920s held court at the Round Table, is becoming a Marriott.” Another mass-produced hotel groomed under the Marriott belt.  Thanks, a lot.

From “Hotel Stories“, by Francisca Matteoli – “The Algonquin” – Dorothy Parker

“The Algonquin is everything a literary hotel should be.  Snug, discreet, cozily retro, the perfect rendezvous for the creme de la creme of the literary and publishing worlds, as well as theater lovers, with armchairs so welcoming comfortable that they are taken by storm every evening at cocktail time.  You will often find the Algonquin cat sleeping between magazines left in the foyer and if you catch sight of Michael Lyons, the Bell Captain, bustling around, then all is well.  This friendly athletic-looking guy might look young but he certainly knows what he is doing – he’s been at the Algonquin for nearly forty years.  Sir John Gielgud, Sir Laurence Olivier, the Redgrace clan, Peter Ustinov, Jonathon Price, Angela Lansbury and Anthony Hopkins have all been seduced by the Bohemian 1930s atmosphere and those famous armchairs.  Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe wrote My Fair Lady in Loewe’s room, and many a Broadway playwright has memories of contracts signed in the Oak Room restaurant.  The artist Duffy published the first caricature in 1920 of what everyone would later refer to as the Round Table of The Algonquin, composed of around 30 editors and journalists who greatly influenced the style of American literature by their debates and discussions, hang-ups and obsessions, bitter judgements and witty “sound-bites”.

Gone is yet another time; down the drains of New York literary history.  Dear Marriott:  May the ghosts of these writers forever haunt your touristic guests!

At the table, clockwise from left: Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Alexander Woollcott, Heywood Broun, Marc Connelly, Franklin P. Adams, Edna Ferber, George S. Kaufman, Robert Sherwood. In back from left to right: Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt, Vanity Fair editor Frank Crowninshield and Frank Case. (by Albert Hirschfeld).

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