The nautically-themed landmark was originally designed by New Orleans modernist architect Albert Ledner in 1968 as headquarters for the National Maritime Union. Ledner apprenticed under famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the late 1940’s and developed his own playful style. This fanciful approach to modernism was long dismissed by design purists but The Maritime is now part of a wave of modernist architecture now seen in an entirely new light.
The hotel opened in 2003 and had undergone a transition that reflected its enviable location in the heart of Manhattan’s fashion, art, food, business, tech, and creative industries. With its signature porthole windows, white-tiled exterior, and elevated outdoor terraces overlooking Ninth Avenue, it was the first luxury hotel in the neighborhood. The Maritime Hotel maintains its reputation as the modern, cool hub of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District/West Chelsea neighborhood.