2600 Magazine's hacker conference Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) has been held at the Hotel Pennsylvania since 1994 (bi-yearly since 2000). The historic hotel is being torn down to make way for office spaces by the New Jersey company (Vornado) that owns it, possibly spelling the end of the conference as we know it.
Preservation Online has this story: Link.
HOPE has been an amazing conference over the years, pulled off with volunteer crews and hardly any money (much less corporate sponsorships of the other "security industry" conferences like BlackHat/Defcon). It is quite possibly the only hotel in NYC that can affordably house the thousands of people that flock to NYC every two years to attend this gathering of the hacker tribes.
Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of 2600, writes:First and most important - you may have heard plans announced for the demolition of the Hotel Pennsylvania to be replaced by a huge financial tower. This obviously would be a disaster for us and probably would result in the end of our conferences, at least in New York. For that reason I hope you'll become involved in upcoming efforts to keep this from happening.There is a forum on 2600's HOPE website discussing the building demo: Link.
While we all know there are better hotels in the area, there are none we could afford to hold a conference in and probably none our attendees could afford to stay in.
Reader comment: Scott Beale says,
Last night Marc sent me the sad news as well about Hotel Pennsylvania. That made me think back to when I went to HOPE in 2002 (H2K2) and shot a bunch a photos, including a few of us hacking the roof of Hotel Pennsylvania. Link.John Hampton was one of many readers who reminds us that the Hotel Pennsylvania...
Is famous for its phone number - 736-5000 - immortalized in Glen Miller's song Pennsylvania 6-5000.