Lonely Planet Writer

A hotel willl open in the historic former Life magazine office in New York

If you’ve ever dreamed of living like a big-city journalist, you can steep yourself in history in a new hotel in the former Life magazine office in New York.

The Life Hotel in New York.
The Life Hotel in New York. Image by Life Hotel

Life Hotel, which is set to open in early April, is located in the iconic building that for years attracted writers and artists to the Manhattansite. Named for the magazine that used to call the building home, the 98-room hotel even features a basement speakeasy where Life staff used to drink.

The Life Hotel in New York.
The Life Hotel in New York. Image by Life Hotel

“In learning about the cultural landmark and its history, we discovered that the upper floors served as apartments for Life writers and artists when the magazine was first published in 1893 and for a long time after, while the offices were situated below; the building even housed a secret bar during Prohibition. This history has become part of our DNA,” said real estate developer David Mitchell.

The Life Hotel in New York.
The Life Hotel in New York. Image by Life Hotel

Visitors will be able to go to the basement bar by a hidden staircase off the lobby as well as by separate street entrance. The bar will offer “classic cocktails harkening back to the days LIFE magazine staffers used this space as their own speakeasy”.

A cover of Life Magazine that featured rodeo star Casey Tibbs in 1951 on Friday, July 24, 2015 at Tipping Point Solutions in Centennial, Colorado. Koele has been working on his documentary about the life of rodeo legend, Casey Tibbs, who was considered by many to be the first cowboy to move the sport into the mainstream and become it's first household name.
A cover of Life Magazine that featured rodeo star Casey Tibbs in 1951 on Friday, July 24, 2015 at Tipping Point Solutions in Centennial, Colorado. Image by Brent Lewis / Getty Images

The Manhattan building was designed by the famous architecture firm Carrère and Hastings, which is the firm responsible for the iconic New York Public Library.  

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