Sunday, February 6, 2011


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To be considered an Historic Hotel and in the National Trust for Historic Preservation one has to fit a certain criteria
1) Dead Old
2) Still Standing
3) Still doing business
4) Revered
My newest commisioned job is for The Sherry-Netherland Hotel in New York City. It is a thirty eight story, Neo-Romanesque landmark. Sitting on Fifth Ave and 59th street, it faces West and guards the East side entrance to Central Park. It meets all the above historic standards and then some. It was Built in 1927 by Schulze & Weaver and Buchman & Kahn, for Louis Sherry the ice cream magnate, and at the time was the tallest apt hotel in the world. It featured, and still does, travertine marble facing on the base and an soaring elaborate Gothic-inspired minaret, a widow's walk atop an asymmetrical roof reminiscent of a French chateaux, all in green aged copper.  Unique touches include the whimsical griffins with hanging lanterns that guard the exterior. Along with the Bergdorf Goodman building and the Plaza Hotel, "the Sherry" created a triangle of opulence on Grand Army Plaza.
I was approached by TGI Global along with The Sherry Chief Operating Officer Michael Ullman and Rooms Division Manager Kristina Kinet, to create a new set of images for the hotel. Mr Ullman felt from our first meeting that the tone of the series should be set with one of the hotels favorite artifacts, The Sherry Clock. By using the antique time piece in a modern setting, he wanted to reinforce the idea that even though the hotel is historic, lives on land marked streets and offers intimacy and grace from another era, it is still an integral part of today's hotel culture. He wanted the clock to be seen as both a wonderful iconic piece but also as a beacon for the Sherry guests, in the  maelstrom of midtown activity. I felt the clock itself needed little help from me as the hero. My choice was to shoot it at dusk, so as to capture the surrounding activity at rush hour, while leaving the face lit, standing tall among the surrounding furor. Just like The Sherry itself. We all feel we achieved the desired goal on this one. The hotel has so many features that the shoot is still on going, ending with a climb, yes Climb, with the hotel engineer, to the Minaret, for the uninterrupted 360 degree view of Manhattan.  Oh Yeah.
Image ©Ber Murphy 2011

1 comment:

David said...

Beautiful. Almost as nice as that Swanky Hotel CD cover shot you did. You got a thing for clocks, huh?

Seriously, good on ya!