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So sad that after such valient efforts on the part of many, that the Automat at 57th and 104th wasn't saved. Was it demolished last year? Are there any pictures of it before being demolished?
Michael Perlman
Posted on Saturday, January 28, 2006 - 4:06 am:   

SAVE THE AUTOMAT PETITION/LETTER CAMPAIGN: Sign a petition to PRESERVE & LANDMARK the 104 W 57th St Automat for future generations to cherish. Write a comment if you would like, & forward the link to as many people as possible: (You can click on the link or paste it into your browser. E-mail me with any questions. If you can't access the site, please contact me)

The 1938 Art Moderne style AUTOMAT at 104 W 57th St & 6th Ave, currently home to Shelly's New York, is to be demolished spring 2006 for a new development. It is of utmost importance to save this architectural, historical, & cultural gem from the wrecking ball, & designate its exterior, an official LANDMARK!!!

When you think of NYC, one of the first few things that comes to mind is its artistic institutions, entertainment, and of course, great food! The "Horn & Hardart Automat" was once a prime facet of NYC life, which redefined dining, when first introduced in 1902. It was one of the earliest cafeteria-style, high-quality "fast food" chains. New York & Philadelphia once had 180 Automats, serving 800,000 customers daily. The last Automat in operation was on 42nd St, & it closed in 1991. Many people still have fond memories of a place where customers would insert a few coins in glass & chrome Art Deco vending machines for fresh, tasty food, in a spacious establishment without waiters & waitresses. For example, fresh drip-brewed coffee came out of a lion's or dolphin's mouth, & was boasted as "The best coffee in town." That certainly was a luxury! “To have your own stack of nickels placed in your tiny hands; to be able to choose your own food, richly on display like museum pieces; to make quick and final decisions at the age of eight; this was a lesson in financial dealings that not even two years at the Wharton School could buy today.” - Neil Simon

A century since the opening of the Automat, New York ONLY has 2 former Automat structures; Broadway & 104th St, & 104 W 57th St (architecturally more important), and NONE are landmarked! How could the Landmarks Preservation Commission not grant the Automat a hearing? Without the Automat, New York would be missing a chapter in its history. Let's show the LPC who admires this notable building! On behalf of concerned citizens, historical societies, & preservation groups, I urge all NY residents and those worldwide, to sign a petition to PRESERVE & LANDMARK the 104 W 57th St Automat for future generations to cherish. Write a comment if you would like, & forward the link to as many people as possible: (You can click on the link or paste it into your browser)

EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT, please write letters &/or e-mails to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, urging landmark designation of the 57th St Automat. Please encourage other people to write letters as well. Reflect upon its significance, and personal insight (if possible):

Mr. Robert Tierney, Chairman
c/o NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre St, 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007
[email protected] & CC [email protected]
Follow up with phone calls: (212) 669-7700 (Dial "1" & then dial "Tierney")
Carbon copy [email protected] since it would be helpful to our cause.

For more information on the Automat's history & photos, please click on or paste into your browser: 01/object_aug01.html

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