NEW YORK—The Millenium Hilton in Lower Manhattan, which served as a triage center in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, today is marking 25 years of operation.
Located at 55 Church St., the hotel opened on June 29, 1992 with 564 rooms (there are now 569) including a 55th-floor Presidential Suite featuring a Jacuzzi bathtub overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge and a grand piano. In 1994, the hotel was sold to City Developments Limited (CDL) New York, the current owner, and came under the management of Hilton Hotels Corp.
When the hotel first opened its doors, it was called the “Millenium Hotel,” named by the original owner, Peter Kalikow, then-owner of The New York Post. There were many theories as to why the hotel was deliberately named with one “n” in “millenium,” but the official reason was it was in anticipation of the millennium but, given its spelling, still a head scratcher.
The 55-story property, directly across the street from where the Twin Towers stood, was severely damaged during the attack, although remained structurally sound and served as a triage center during 9/11. It then closed for 18 months for a $30-million renovation, notably to the glass facade of the building, which was impacted by the Towers’ collapse.
The hotel officially reopened on May 5, 2003 during a ribbon-cutting and flag-raising ceremony that brought together the state’s and city’s top elected officials, including then-New York Governor George Pataki and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg with housekeepers, bellstaff, other associates and Hilton Hotel Corp. executives.
The flag that was flying outside the hotel on September 11, 2001 was saved by team members, and is now framed and located in the lobby of the hotel.
“We are very proud of having 36 team members who opened the hotel working with us today,” said Boris Guerov, the hotel’s general manager.
The hotel now overlooks a revived Lower Manhattan that offers new cultural, retail and recreational attractions.
Many of the hotel’s guestrooms overlook One World Trade Center and the North Memorial Pond while Church & Dey, the third floor restaurant, offers patrons a view of Oculus Plaza and One World Trade Center.
“The Financial District is now an after-work and weekend destination,” said Chris Hill, director of sales and marketing, Millenium Hilton. “Our guests are happy to see that area is alive after 6 p.m. They love shopping at Westfield, dining at Eataly, and taking in the sunsets along Hudson River Park.”
Over the next few months, the hotel will be celebrating its history in the neighborhood, and in celebration of the anniversary, 25 guests who are staying at the hotel today will receive 2,500 Hilton Honors points.