There’s a Big Apple show this week at the Penn Plaza Pavilion. It’s a Fan Appreciation Show with FREE ADMISSION to celebrate the show’s 10th anniversay. Guests include Soupy Sales, Larry Storch and even some comickers like Alex Maleev.

However, the future of this show may be in doubt, as apparently, the Pennsylvania Hotel is to face the wrecker’s ball at sometime in the next few years.

The New York City hotel that inspired the song “Pennsylvania 6-5000” will be torn down for a 2.5 million-square-foot office tower. One of McKim, Mead & White’s later designs, the 22-story Hotel Pennsylvania was one of the largest hotels in the world when it opened in 1919 with 2,200 rooms. It was built across the street from the firm’s Pennsylvania Station, which was torn down in 1963 for Madison Square Garden. The Hotel Pennsylvania’s ballroom was a big band hotspot for Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and
Glenn Miller, who made it famous in his 1940 jingle.

Owner Vornado Realty Trust, based in Paramus, N.J., intends to build an office tower with a trading floor in place of the 1,700-room hotel, which is not a city landmark.

While the Pennsylvania Hotel is way past its prime — we heard nothing but horror stories from some comics pals of ours who stayed there last month — this still brings a tear to our eye. First off, one can only imagine the New York in which the once-respondent hotel faced across the street from the grand and glorious original Penn Station. (It was the destruction of this landmark – an event which still makes us choke up– which spurred the movement towards building preservation in NYC.)

Then, over the years the Hotel Penn was the scene of many many conventions, Seuling, Creation, you name it, as it went down is prestige a bit and became a place for fans of many stripes to congregate over cardboard boxes.

As the article says, the battle for the Pennsylvania Hotel was lost many years ago, but we intend to spend some time there before it goes, and we might just start this weekend.

[Link via Boing Boing]


  1. I remember going to the Fred Greenberg shows at the Penta Hotel (which was just one of many names that it’s had over the past 20 years) during the late 80s/early 90s. Even then, the place was in need of a serious facelift, and I understand they haven’t done much with it over the years.

    The worst about it, though, was when I worked with a dealer and and the hassles of having to load/unload your stock. My God, that was a complete pain in the ass. Waiting an eternity for the service elevator to come was not very enjoyable.

  2. Good riddance, and I say that as a native NYC dweller (although not for the past several years). I stayed there for a couple of past Big Apple cons, and was HORRIFIED. The room given my wife and I looked like the worst you would find in an SRO (Single Room Occupancy) hotel; the room was FILTHY (there was an arm chair that looked and smelled as if people had peed and rubbed crap all over it for years) and reaked like a dumpster. The room we upgraded to (charged extra, btw) wasn’t much better. The beautiful lobby belies the horror awaiting you, and it really is time for it to go.

  3. Weird how Mike talks so lovingly about comics yet there are only two comic artists mentioned as being there, and they’re relegated to a sidebar.

    We might go in one day this weekend, Heidi. Maybe we could do the Leah Adezio Memorial Sushi Gathering? Monster Sushi, one of her favorite places, is a reasonable walk from the show location. Give me a call if you can…

  4. Well, well. I will never forget this hotel as long as I live. The location of a hideously overcrowded comic convention where almost everyone in the industry picked up a hideous viral infection. Mine resulted in a life threatening case of pnuemonia, some hospitalization, and completely wrecked health for a year. I’ve had chronic respiratory problems ever since. And that was 15 years ago.

    Put it out of our misery.

  5. I love the Big Apple Con, and can’t wait to go again this April, but this hotel is just bad. I had the opportunity to walk around while I waited to set up in 2005 and couldn’t believe how crappy the place really was. It’s old and needs to either be majorly refurbished or be gone.

  6. The comic conventions at the Penn weren’t the best ever, and I didn’t even stay until closing those few times. Huge crowds, anal security grunts, expensive dealers, and those were just the good points. Unfortunately, these were the only regular conventions that I had knowledge of, but they were better than just sitting on the Internet sharing thoughts about comics.

    Of course, nothing is better than visiting MoCCA. ;)

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