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 Hotel Beacon opened its doors alongside the Beacon Theatre to a great amount of buzz. At 24 stories high, it towered above all other buildings in the neighborhood and rivaled the skyscrapers of Midtown Manhattan. Yet the most talked about piece of the Hotel Beacon wasn’t its height – it was its beacon.

One of only three hotels in all of New York City to install an airway beacon on its roof, at the hotel wasn’t just seen as a novelty, it was a visual representation of the modern marvels of the day. In fact, just one year before, Charles Lindbergh had completed his first solo transatlantic flight – and for a short period of time, it seemed like every new skyscraper was installing an airway beacon as part of the growing excitement.

Although said to be the largest airway beacon in the world at the time, the hotel’s beacon was forced to turn out the lights just a few years after its christening when the Department of Commerce ruled that only official airway beacons could use white light. Nevertheless, the name Hotel  stayed, and today, over 90 years later,  is just a recognizable as it was when its original beacon was first lit.

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