Like the neighborhood itself, the Soho Grand is home to a bevy of original pieces. From fine and contemporary art to sculptures and structures, there are riches around every corner. Treasures like the Edison bulbs that light the Mica sconces throughout the hotel and the hand painted, ornate elevator doors fill the Soho Grand. No expense is spared and no detail is left unturned in putting the unique touches on a Hotel that has certainly become one of the worlds most celebrated.
Bill Sofield worked with New York photographer Andrea Stern to introduce art into the hotel. Stern was passionate in bringing in original work from photographs to sculptures. Above the Grand Stair she chose artist Joseph Stashkevetch. The piece is an impressive 10 x 14 feet and was commissioned specifically for the space upon opening. The drawing, it is not a photograph, is a combination of conté crayon (a hard stick of oil and carbon) and water color washes.
The mandate was to bring in artwork and artistry as one would in any home, big or small. Every piece was meticulously chosen or constructed and has a unique story, building heritage and tradition with age. In the main lobby the extraordinary bottle-glass staircase, reflecting the bottle-glass sidewalks found along the streets of SoHo for centuries, lead up to the vaulted lobby with a mirrored ceiling that gives way to its majestic masonry columns. Adjacent, hand painted silver leaf soars above the Salon’s magnificent twin ornamental blackened steel birdcages that house original mise-en scenes.
Inside the Art of the Soho Grand Hotel
The Soho Grand is pet friendly and sculptures of canines can be found throughout the Hotel. Starting on the lower lobby, guests are greeted by two steel Great Danes guarding the base of the extraordinary bottle-glass stair. (Most coveted, a few years ago, one was stolen, only to be returned a few days later to its rightful place alongside its twin, smart as stealing art is a federal offense) On the second floor, two brass whippets are flanked on either side of the front desk, and on the Penthouse level the Lofts are kept company by two stoic ceramic Labs.
For all of the guestrooms, suites, and penthouses, Stern chose original black and white photography provided by the Howard Greenberg Gallery. The selection of prints taken are by well known New York photographers in the 1940’s and 1950’s. These iconic images underscore the motif of old New York and illuminate the artistic legacy of SoHo.
In the guestrooms, an appreciation for artistry is visible in the selection of custom and vintage pieces and in the workmanship of the cabinets, desks, wire-glass mirror, Sofield brought in sculpture tables to work as bedside table, corseted leather Eileen Gray desk chairs to sit up along copper penny tables and wire-glass desks. In the bathrooms towel racks are inspired by Paris metro stations rails and the playful wall covering is by famed New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg. In the Suites, the coffee table is made of recycled newspapers and the dining table is inspired by renowned artist Jasper Johns.
Finally, the Club Room’s permanent photograph collection comes courtesy of SoHo’s Morrison Hotel Gallery and features images from famed photographer, Terry O’Neill. O’Neill is recognized for his candid documentation of the celebrities and fashion styles of the 1960s. His unguarded approach set him apart from his peers, and the selection of photographs for the Club Room showcase prominent oversized images mounted directly on bronze metal.