The W Hotel Elephants

I was in midtown today scouting around East 48th Street, an area with a ton of archetypal New York hotels (The Waldorf-Astoria, The Intercontinental, The Benjamin, The Marriott East Side, etc., etc., etc.). I happened to notice something on the W Hotel at 541 Lexington that I haven’t ever before: elephants!

Elephants 1

They’re actually somewhat difficult to see from the street, as they’re hidden by the glass awning and the flags. But I love the antique safari feel to them, as well as how their trunks are wrapped around the flagpoles.  It’s also great how each is a different color – I don’t know if this is intentional, or a result of New York City weathering.

Elephants 3

Elephants 2

Elephants 4

I’m not sure how old these actually are, but I really hope they’re being maintained…Is it just me, or does that look like masking tape holding the last two trunks onto the poles?


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  1. Is this the W featured in William Gibson’s Spoke Country?

    If so it should not be far from Union Square, is it?

  2. Aw, I used to walk past this hotel every day last year… I used to work at 46th and Lex… Never noticed this elephants though! I think it’s because I was usually on the W hotel side of the street and, as you say, the glass awning is obtrusive..