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Then & Now: Photos of The St. Regis New York From the Early 20th Century and Today

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The St. Regis New York was originally completed in 1904, and at the time, was the tallest hotel in the city. Today, the property endures as one of New York’s finest, combining the elegance and grandeur of its Gilded Age heyday with all the modern luxuries that discerning guests expect to see today. Thanks to a collection of antique photographs from the Library of Congress’ online archive, we’re able to take a look back at how this New York icon has changed over the last century.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).

It seems like in the past, the hotel had several smaller public spaces, such as this reception room (pictured below) with walls that are covered in a rich, dark wood trimmed in gold leaf. The center of the room features a magnificent fireplace trimmed in marble and topped by an enormous mirror — framed by gold, of course. In today’s public spaces, it’s easy to see the enduring influence the early 20th century continues to have on the property since its public spaces are still adorned with gilded trim and beautiful frescoes reminiscent of a more glamorous time. However, the furniture, trim and decor nowadays has a decidedly more modern look and feel.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).

Step into the Royal Suite and you’ll find some of the most consistently opulent environments around. In the 1920s, the suite was outfitted with incredibly ornate furniture and even came with a piano. The walls themselves were decorative pieces, with intricate moldings outlining mirrors, windows and works of art around the room. Today’s Royal Suite is a clear nod to its past, with decorative walls and furniture that evoke the splendor of the Gilded Age. But, as you’d expect, today’s version is outfitted with the latest technology and modern-yet-elegant decor.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).

It looks like hotel guests in the 20th century would’ve had no trouble at all getting a good night’s rest in the bedroom of the Royal Suite. The bed itself features an exquisite frame built with wood and what looks like gilded accents on the head and footboards. There’s also an elegant canopy resting regally over it. Today’s Royal Suite bedroom maintains its classic look with a deep blue canopy framing the headboard, while two stylish ottomans have taken the place of the footboard. It also looks like the thread-count on the King-size sheets may be a little higher in 2016 as well.

Image courtesy of Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).
Images courtesy of the Library of Congress (left) and the St. Regis New York (right).

As a Starwood Hotel, the St. Regis New York can be booked using points from the Starwood Preferred Guest program, or those transferred instantly from Marriott Rewards. The St. Regis is an SPG Category 7 hotel, with free stays ranging from 30,000 to 35,000 points per night. Paid rates start at $595 per night, but often climb above the $1,000 mark.

Have you stayed in this iconic NYC hotel? Tell us about it, below.

Featured image courtesy of the St. Regis New York.

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