A renovated 100-foot-long marble hotel in the heart of the Bronx has been renamed the Venice, and its owners say they’ve got a project on their hands.
The $5.2 million renovation of the former Viceroy Hotel at 441-440 Broadway opened last year, but there was no sign of the old Venetian Hotel, a century-old building that housed the city’s first hotel and a brothel, until last week.
The owners of the Venice Hotel said they had to go through a complicated process to get the hotel to become a museum.
They’re working on an exhibit about the hotel’s history and its history of prostitution.
“I think it’s important for the public to know what Venetians have done, because they’re a very special people,” said Kristine Meehan, owner of the Venetia.
The Venice is one of several buildings in the city that have been converted into museums or art galleries.
In Brooklyn, there’s the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and in Manhattan, there are the New Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Asian Art and The Art Institute of Chicago.
The Venetias owners said they are hoping the new name will be adopted by the New York City Housing Authority.
“It’s important to know that they’re part of our city, part of the city of New York, part the city we’re part and a part of this city,” said Meehans husband, John.
They’ve hired a new designer to help them design the hotel, and they hope the museum will eventually open in the renovated building.
Meehan said she believes it’s the right time to move on.
“This is a wonderful time to come home and look at this,” she said.
“We’ve just gotten to the end of this project and the city is finally ready to embrace this.”