The Carlyle is an extremely exclusive hotel on Manhattan’s UES. It is in the Art Deco style and was named after Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle.
It was built by Moses Ginsberg, maternal grandfather of Rona Jaffe and designed by architects Bien & Prince in the late 1920s but the crash drove it into receivership in 1931.
The Carlyle became known as “the New York White House” during the administration of President John F. Kennedy, who owned an apartment on the 34th floor for the last ten years of his life.
After singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at Kennedy’s birthday gala at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, rumor has it that Monroe used a warren of tunnels to enter the Carlyle secretly with Kennedy and friends.
Years later, longtime bellman Michael O’Connell recalled to Nick Foulkes, in his book The Carlyle (New York: Assouline, 2007), “Those tunnels. President Kennedy knew more about the tunnels than I did.”
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