×
You seem to have had an issue loading this page or you have javascript disabled, which may cause problems while using Change.org. To avoid any further inconvenience, please enable javascript in your browser and refresh this page.
Bring Back the Oak Room at the Algonquin
  • Petitioned The Algonquin Hotel

This petition was delivered to:

General Manager
The Algonquin Hotel
Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers
Dave Reilly
Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers
Drew Williams
Executive VP and CFO, Marriott International
Carl Berquist
President, Marriott International
Arne Sorenson
Marriott Autograph Collection
Catherine Leitner
Facebook page
The Algonquin Hotel
COO, Marriott International
Robert McCarthy
CEO, Marriott International
J.R. Marriott Jr.

Bring Back the Oak Room at the Algonquin

    1. Enid Futterman
    2. Petition by

      Enid Futterman

      Craryville, NY

As a supper club, the Oak Room is vital to the Algonquin Hotel, New York City, and the American popular song.

It is an iconic New York destination, crucial to the singular and beloved character of the Algonquin, and cannot be replaced by a breakfast nook or a VIP lounge. Closing it deprives New York of one of only three premier venues -- and its most historic and intimate room -- for the American popular song.

The history of the Oak Room at the Algonquin began in 1939, when it opened as a nightclub. It went dark during World War II, but reopened in 1980. For over three decades, the Oak Room has been home to many of the world's finest musical artists. It launched the careers of Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr., Jamie Cullum, and Michael Feinstein, and, just last season, Emily Bergl. It continued to present legends such as Jack Jones, Britain's first lady of jazz Claire Martin, jazz pianist Barbara Carroll, Julie Wilson, Jimmy Webb, and Academy Award-nominated composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. The greatest musicians and interpreters of song, such as jazz's Bill Charlap, Tierney Sutton, Paula West, and Kurt Elling, and cabaret's Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Akers, Steve Ross, KT Sullivan, Wesla Whitfield and Maude Maggart, among many others, have performed there.

As a result, the Oak Room attracted patrons like Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, Clive Davis, Angela Lansbury, Stephen Sondheim, Paul McCartney, Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, and Elvis Costello, and all other lovers of good music. Reserving the Oak Room as a VIP lounge for breakfast and tea -- as the hotel intends -- is fine, but doesn't need to preclude its use as a cabaret and jazz room in the evening. The closing is not only breaking the hearts of those legions of New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world who have loved the Algonquin and the Oak Room beyond all other hotels and clubs, it ignores the basic principle of branding—unique selling proposition. The Oak Room and its performers generate publicity, prestige, and good will for the hotel. The Round Table is gone. Matilda, the Algonquin Cat, no longer freely roams the lobby. The Oak Room is the last still-breathing vestige of the Algonquin's century-long storied history.

Please don't shoot New York in the heart, and yourselves in the foot.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Over 3000 people have signed the petition to save the Oak Room

      Enid Futterman
      Petition Organizer

      Including, since last count, Lynn Ahrens, Susan Birkenhead, Harolyn Blackwell, Judy Blazer, Anne Bobby, Stephen Bogardus, Craig Carnelia, Jamie deRoy, Mindi Dickstein, Digby Diehl, Melinda Doolittle, Tovah Feldshuh, Frances Fisher, Stephen Flaherty, Nancy Ford, Lauren Fox, Ricky Ian Peter Gallagher, Rinne Groff, Morgan Jenness, Donna Murphy, Michael Nouri, Mary Bracken Phillips, John Pizzarelli, Faith Popcorn, Teri Ralston, Sid Ramin, Lady Rizo, Jonathan Schwartz, Sally Bedell Smith, John David Souther, Charles Strouse, and Tierney Sutton. There has been press in Backstage, on NPR, QXR, BAI, and in numerous blogs and podcasts. The Municipal Art Society and City Lore have named the Oak Room a Place That Matters (see link below). And, as Jeff Harnar says, "a tether to the soul of Manhattan."

    2. Reached 3,000 signatures
    3. The Oak Room has just been named a Place that Matters.

      Enid Futterman
      Petition Organizer

      Place Matters, a project of City Lore and the Municipal Art Society has awarded this distinction to the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel:

      "Dark oak paneling makes it seem as much a library or music room in a grand English house as a supper club. The Oak Room has been the preferred venue of many of the most important cabaret artists of the past thirty, including Andrea Marcovicci, and it is one of the last such places in a city that once had many of them."

      "The room is cozily dark and intimate. The singers and musicians who perform here take advantage of the intimate space to build rapport with the audience in a way that a concert stage cannot duplicate. The singer, song and audience become one."

    4. Reached 2,500 signatures
    5. Over 2000 signatures to save the Oak Room

      Enid Futterman
      Petition Organizer

      Carol Burnett. David Hyde Pierce, Jimmy Webb, Laura Benanti, Howard Kissel. Melissa Manchester. Michael Feinstein, Henry Jaglom, Carol Hall, Paula West, Andrea Marcovicci, Tom Conti, Steve Ross, Karen Akers, Mary Rodgers, Peter Bogdanovich, Sally Kirkland, George S. Irving, Mary Testa, Amanda McBroom, Donald Smith, Philip Bosco, Barnet Kellman, Lainie Kazan, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Warren Hoge, Marge Champion, Julie Gold, Judy Carmichael, John Kander, Blair Brown, Steve Ross, Karen Akers, Jason Graae, Stacy Sullivan, John Bucchino, Morgan Fairchild, Barbara Brussell, Magee Hickey, James Morgan, Ellen Fitzhugh, Framcesca Blumenthal, Ann Hampton Callaway, Marni Nixon, John Breglio, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Deborah Margolin, Tony Walton, Jason Danieley, Jane Monheit, Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Cunningham, Anita Gillette, Christine Andreas and more than 2000 others have signed the petition to save the Oak Room for cabaret. Please share a link on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you!

    6. Reached 2,000 signatures
    7. Over 1500 signatures to save the Oak Room

      Enid Futterman
      Petition Organizer

      Mary Rodgers, Julie Gold. Andrea Marcovicci. Carol Burnett. Tom Conti, Howard Kissel. Melissa Manchester. Michael Feinstein, Henry Jaglom, Paula West, Peter Bogdanovich, Sally Kirkland, George S. Irving, Mary Testa, Amanda McBroom, Barnet Kellman, Lainie Kazan, Alan & Marilyn Bergman, Warren Hoge, Marge Champion, and John Kander and over 1500 others feel strongly about the Oak Room and its connection to cabaret and history. Please share a link to the petition on Facebook and Twitter, and forward widely. Thank you, all.

    8. Reached 1,500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Loren F. Salter SAN DIEGO, CA
      • 9 months ago

      I love, perform, teach cabaret in the San Diego area, and support cabaret everywhere. This room has given birth to so many singing artist's careers!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Margaret Bucheit WAKEFIELD, RI
      • over 1 year ago

      The Oak Room is as much a part of the Algonquin as the cat!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Caroline Castagno FORT WASHINGTON, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      We have already lost the one one cabaret venue we had in phila. And we can't afford to lose the oak room. I just went on to see who was performing and found this very sad news

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Randall Couch PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • almost 2 years ago

      As a regular visitor to the city, I have often enjoyed the Oak Room. I saw Jane Monheit in one of her earliest appearances, and Andrea Marcovicci when she lost her voice and got Michael Bublé to fill out the show. I checked the billing before every trip to make sure I didn't miss any of my favorites, and it's just unthinkable to imagine the city without this civilized and storied venue. Please restore the supper club so a new generation can carry on the tradition.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Pardi PITTSBURGH, PA
      • almost 2 years ago

      With popular music in such decline, surely there should be an oasis for traditionalists who remember when singers didn't shout and songs had lyrics that were meant to be understood and music that lingered in the memory.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.