This is the former home of the Great Shanghai. Soon it will be, by judging the pictures, a place for all those happy sick people.
The first listing of this culinary palace was in the New York Times. Jane Nickerson reviewed on August 1, 1956. How many Christmas Day dinners did you have there growing up, in what would become a staple for too many upper west side families from the 1960's through the late 70's?
This is the Hotel Marseilles at some point in the 1920's. Designed by New York born and educated (Columbia School of Mines) Henry Allan Jacobs went to France after graduating in 1894 and attended (like too many other American architects did) the Ecole des Beaux- Arts. However he did very well while in attendance and was awarded the Prix de Rome. An early example of his work is the 1904 Seville Hotel at Madison Avenue and 29th Street. The entrance in the pictures above is visible on the right of this vintage postcard.
This is the main dining room. It is sort of an art deco interpretation of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Fortunately it was not in it's home port when France fell in 1940. It became a possesion of the United States and was going to become the USS Lafayette.
Anything of value, anything that indicated the former
In 1916 German saboteurs had plotted to blow up the Ansonia Hotel but that did not work out. What they did do was to blow up a rail yard in what is now Liberty State Park that was full of boxcars that were full of ammunition waiting to be loaded onto boats to be shipped to England during World War I. The arm holding the torch of the Statue of Liberty was shifted forward 4 feet and and the original plaster ceiling in the Great Hall of Ellis Island's immigration station fell (not the roof, just the interior ceiling). The result was the torch being closed off and a new ceiling in the Great Hall (made out of Gustivino Tiles. It also made Naval Intelligence wary of possible German sabotage here during the war years. But who could they turn to?
He was still running the show from his suite at the Maximum Security facility known as Dannemora by passing instructions to his underboss Vito Genovese. He was powerful outside but also inside. Through his efforts the only free standing church structure in the entire New York State prison system is at Dannemora, now known as Clinton Correction Facility. The Navy, the State of New York and Luciano's lawyers eventually concluded a deal. In exchange for a commutation of his sentence, Luciano promised his complete assistance even providing the U.S. military with mafia contacts in Sicily when the allied invaded in 1943. The deal was hammered out over a few meetings but at least one of those meetings took place in what was to become The Great Shanghai. After the deal was done, there was never a dockworker strike or another diabolical act of sabotage during the war. After the war Lucky was deported back to Sicily. He was a citizen of New York, but never an American citizen. I do not think he saw the difference.