Casa Cipriani New York is located at the very southernmost tip of Manhattan, just where the Hudson and East River meet, the iconic Battery Maritime Building is still where the Governors Island ferries shuttle to and from. (Here all our posts about design hotel).
It is also one of the very few examples of Beaux-Arts architecture to emerged semi-intact from New York City’s modernisation. Its only other co-survivor, in fact, is Grand Central Station since the demolition in 1963 of Pennsylvania Station to make way for Madison Square Garden.
Casa Cipriani was built in 1909
Designed by Walker & Morris and built in 1909, it was used as terminal for ferries to and from Brooklyn until the 1930s. After this, it was partly abandoned and over the decades used as a communal warehouse, a homeless shelter and Coast Guard slip.
In 1976 Casa Cirpiani New York become a National Monument
Despite gaining national monument status in 1976, the Battery Maritime Building lay abandoned until the early noughties when the New York Economic Development Corporation engaged an architecture studio to if not exactly renovate it, at least keep it in good enough condition to guarantee its survival.
The Battery Maritime Building began life as a sumptuous glass, steel, stamped zinc and copper façade with tiled sections reminiscent of the pavilions built for the great Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889.
A new life with Maggio Cipriani
Sadly, many of its precious details have been lost over the decades. However, the EDC’s intervention did save the building’s unique character and now this stunning piece of architecture has been given a new lease of life by Maggio Cipriani, the fourth generation of the famous hotelier family and the president of Cipriani USA.
Since September 2021, the South Street side of the building has been the entrance to Casa Cipriani New York, the first hotel and members’ club to be opened by the Harry’s Bar owners. This is a private club where members can meet friends, listen to music or just relax. However, it is also a boutique hotel whose guests can also avail of the club’s services.
Casa Cipriani New York was renovated by Marvel and Thierry Despont
The Building was renovated by Marvel while Thierry Despont designed the interiors. Two new floors were added and the original roof top was also brought back to its original splendour. Both are made from steel and glass and can only be seen from the sea.
The interiors had been completely gutted over the years, but have now been beautifully rebuilt and are inspired by the great 1930s liners, particularly the spectacular Art Deco, Normandie. Casa Cipriani covers 18,000 square metres in total.
The old waiting room has been converted into a near 1,000 square metre events hall than can seat up to 800 guests. It is topped by a glorious skylight that stretches 40 metres in length and five across, a gorgeous recreation of the original from old photos. The mezzanine above the ballroom is home to a 1,500 square metre wellness centre with gym, spa, sauna and steam room that also offers a range of medical, beauty and cryotherapy treatments.
Casa Cirpiani New York it’s a very private and exclusive club, but also a charme hotel
Club Cipriani members and hotel guests can dine in the club restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking Brooklyn Bridge and the East River, or in the Jazz Café if they prefer music while they eat. There are also three different bars: the Promenade, the Club Bar and the West Terrace.
Casa Cipriani has 47 rooms and suites, many with private balconies and views of the Bridge and the Statue of Liberty as well as the constant to-ing and fro-ing of the Governors Island ferries. Guests have a choice of 28 Premier & Deluxe guestrooms, five Junior Suites, 12 Suites and two Presidential Suites.
All the décor has been inspired by ancient Liners
Their décor too is inspired by the Liners, albeit with a modern twist. Polished mahogany, warm velvets and soft wraparound furnishings handcrafted in Italy by Tedeschi create a sumptuous ambience. Just a few months on from its opening, Casa Cipriani is a huge success.
The Casa Cipriani Milano, currently receiving its finishing touches in the Palazzo Bernasconi, just in front of the Indro Montanelli Gardens, looks set to repeat that feat when it opens shortly.