Uh, Campana Brothers, can I see you outside for a minute?
When Ian Schrager reopened the dumpy Paramount Hotel in Times Square in 1990, it had been redesigned by Philippe Starck. The rooms were still tiny, but the lobby was dramatic for the day. I was more of a Royalton man myself, but even though I hung out at the Paramount and stuffed cheaper clients and guests there over the years, I had no idea that the hotel contained a children's playroom by Pee Wee's Playhouse creative director Gary Panter.
Judging by the arched windows, the playroom was on the mezzanine, and judging by the mirror reflections in these, the only photos of the space I could find, it was basically a standard, shoebox-sized room, tricked out in typical Boomer-era whimsy with, glowing aquariums, overly bright surfaces and Panter's fantasyland furnishings.
Now about those furnishings. Am I missing something, or did Panter create chairs entirely out of stuffed animals at least 13 years before Fernando and Humberto Campana first stiched a pile of toys into an $11,000 banquete? Did they ever stay at the Paramount?
On his website, Panter says the playroom was dismantled, possibly when Starck refreshed the lobby in 1998. What happened to these three giant plush chairs, I wonder? There was a Sylvester, a Tweety, and a Pink Panther chair, and they're not the kind of chairs that'd be easily overlooked. If you've seen them, drop me a line.
Paramount Hotel Playroom (dismantled), 1990 [garypanter.com]