A Manhattan at the Della Robbia Bar

This is a place I want to visit on my next trip to Manhattan (it’s at 4 Park Avenue)

Wow! And this is the story behind this unique interior

The subterranean space was fondly dubbed “the Crypt” when it served as the bar area of the elegant double-height Della Robbia Grill restaurant in the Vanderbilt Hotel. The restaurant interior has a vaulted ceiling of Guastavino tile framed by polychrome ornamental tile by the Rookwood Pottery Company of Cincinnati.

As part of a 1967 modernization, the hotel was split into apartments and commercial space, the grand public rooms were destroyed, and most of the original Della Robbia Grill was converted to a parking garage. The bar room and a portion of the grill room escaped demolition and was reborn as a new restaurant. Today, it is one of only two intact interiors finished in terra cotta by Rookwood Pottery. The space was designated as a landmark when the Friends of Terra Cotta drew attention to it after the terra-cotta-finished Marine Grill was removed from the nearby Hotel McAlpin. The Della Robbia bar remains in situ as a stunning surround for diners in Wolfgang’s Steakhouse.

Interested in the story of the Vanderbilt Hotel that opened in 1912? It is quite fascinating.  And the next time you arein this part of time, you might check out the building at 4 Park Avenue. it has lost some of its grandeur. But it is still there!

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