Stairway to heaven

The splendid Gothic staircase was restored in 1995, leaving the walls as redecorated in 1901, dotted with gold fleurs-de-lis. The rib-vault is a firmament of stars and suns.

Harry Handelsman, founder of the Manhattan Loft Corporation, is the man charged with developing the Gothic masterpiece of the Midland Grand into a 245-bedroom luxury hotel. Hell may be the planning regulations, but the developer is bent on glory.

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