JW Marriott Essex House

Jw Marriott Essex House
  1. About the JW Marriott Essex House in New York
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The JW Marriott Essex House is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Frank Grad & Sons and built between 1929 and 1931 in New York, NY.

JW Marriott Essex House is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The building has changed names several times over the years, and is also known as:

  • Essex House until 1931.
  • Marriott's Essex House between 1969 and 1985.
  • Essex House-A Westing Hotel between 1999 and 2006.
  • Jumeirah Essex House between 2006 and 2012.

Its precise street address is 160 Central Park South, New York, NY. You can also find it on the map here.

The building has been restored 3 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1991, 2006 and 2023.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
Marriott's Essex House
Essex House-A Westing Hotel
years ago
  1. 1990 to 1991 - Windows were replaced and a central air conditioning system was installed.
  2. 2006 - General renovation. The architect in charge was Hirsch Bedner Associates.
  3. 2023 - Reconversion of three stunning luxury suites that pay homage to Central Park. The architect in charge was Whitespace Interiors.

Architect and team

Frank Grad & Sons was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Frank Grad & Sons was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Otis as the company in charge of the elevators system.

Architectural Style

The JW Marriott Essex House can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The JW Marriott Essex House was completed in 1931, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The JW Marriott Essex House reaches an architectural height of 463ft (141m). It has a total of 43 floors, served by 12 elevators.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1931, the JW Marriott Essex House has mainly been used as Hotel space, with other complementary uses such as residential space.

About the Hotel

The hotel is a 4 stars category hotel, with a total of 537 rooms available to the public. The name of the hotel is JW Marriott Essex House.

463ft (141m)

Materials & Structure

The JW Marriott Essex House uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features limestone plates up to the third floor, and beige-colored bricks from there on until the end of the building. The main entrance has some limestone ornaments above it, and is protected by a canopy that was made using bronze frames, the same material as the main door frames. The building has a six-story-high red neon sign at the top of the building reading ESSEX HOUSE, which has always made the building stand out in postcards of Central Park's skyline and has become an icon of the city of New York.