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Tradition Reimagined at the Base of the Row NYC


Some things come full circle… that is exactly what has happened for one hotel in the Theatre District of New York. At 27 stories and 1,331 rooms, Hotel Lincoln was the largest hotel in New York City when it opened on February 13, 1928, one day after the 119th anniversary of the birth of its namesake, Abraham Lincoln. After over 50 years of operation under a few other names and a down turned Manhattan economy in the 1970’s, the hotel had fallen into disrepair. It was closed and sold to the Milstein family for revitalization. It was then renovated and changed to “Milford Plaza” with a catchy marketing campaign aimed at tourism, thereby entering the American psyche with a troupe of twirling bellhops and chambermaids touting the hotel in a host of 1980’s commercials. As we know, however, times and tastes are always changing. To make it in New York City, you must continue to evolve and change. This is exactly what was needed to reinvigorate the landmark hotel to its former glory once again.


Rockpoint Group and hotel operator Highgate Holdings purchased the hotel in 2010 for $200 million and began an extensive $140 million renovation. In 2013, the 1,331-room Milford Plaza underwent a complete transformation and rebranding under the leading concept of “graphic New York.” The two-year project transformed all guest rooms and redeveloped the public areas, including the retail spaces, lobby, lounge and rooftop bar, fitness center, and retail areas. The landmark now features a new exterior entrance and marquee, a new lobby with curving wood ceiling canopy, a grand staircase, and a casual bar/lounge. Also as part of the renovation, new features included adding District M restaurant to the lobby, as well as a state-of-the-art Internet lounge. The hotel was briefly renamed The Milford New York Hotel before being renamed in 2014 as Row NYC.


The renovated structural glass podium of the Milford Plaza Hotel transformed to Row NYC.

The most noticeable and stunning transformation upon first glance at the hotel is in the redesigned podium and lobby. Gensler was the architect of record for the main renovation and retail spaces, but the lobby itself and interior public spaces were designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates. The project team turned to W&W Glass to help modernize the two-story glassy base of the building for new retailers and restaurants and to brighten up the lobby inside and out with Pilkington Planar™ point-supported structural glass.


The W&W Glass team worked with expert fabricators at Pilkington’s facility in St Helens, United Kingdom to supply and install ultra-clear Pilkington Optiwhite™ low-iron insulating glass units with “K” Low-e coating on the #3 surface for the exterior vertical walls. The exterior face glass was supported by 3/4″ Pilkington Optiwhite™ low-iron monolithic fins for even greater transparency. Both elements were connected using standard countersunk Pilkington 905 series fittings. There were even custom signage fittings used to support retail signs directly through the glass facade without notching the glass units.


Gabellini Sheppard’s other transformations included honed concrete floors, floating concrete staircase treads lit from below, and columns clad in weathered steel with a natural rust patina. A custom-designed ceiling canopy of wood slats hovers over the entire space, curving upward toward the entrance in a gesture of urban embrace. The Row NYC is still one of New York’s largest hotels, and its spiffy new look and additional hotel perks help differentiate it from the nearby Edison Hotel, which remains rooted in quintessential “old-school” Times Square. Next time your in the Theatre District be sure to check it out as you will be pleasantly surprised.


For more information on all the projects completed and underway by the W&W Glass professionals, check out the portfolio section.

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.


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