The New Yorker describes an act of civic generosity:

The New York Four Seasons is not the most welcoming hotel, architecturally speaking. Designed by I. M. Pei and situated on East Fifty-seventh Street, between Madison and Park, it greets visitors with an intimidating slab of limestone façade and a metal awning that seems to want to clobber you. Reviewing the building in the Times when it opened, in 1993, Paul Goldberger was taken by “a reception desk that looks like a Judgment Day platform.” Rooms now start at twelve hundred and ninety-five dollars. Or they did, two months ago.

Like so many businesses, the Four Seasons closed in March. On April 2nd it reopened, transformed into the city’s cheapest and most civic-minded hotel—the first to host health-care workers free of charge. As of last week, there were a hundred and sixty such guests, sleeping, showering, and enjoying grab-and-go meals between long shifts of attempting to save the lives of covid-19 patients. All are screened each time they enter the hotel, which is now using its more human-scaled entrance on East Fifty-eighth Street. Nurses take temperatures and run through checklists of symptoms before people are admitted to the “green zone” (or banished to the “red zone” for possible off-site treatment). Videos provided by the Four Seasons show that the lobby’s usual cadre of super-attentive valets, bellhops, and concierges has been replaced by impassive metal stanchions, green directional arrows, and yellow crime-scene tape to enforce social distancing, although the onyx, marble, and soaring ceilings remain.

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“It’s basically hospital housing, but Four Seasons-style,” explained Dr. Dara Kass, an E.R. physician at Columbia University Medical Center, speaking on the phone from her eighth-floor room. “You know why you’re here when you walk into the building,” she said, describing the lobby’s vibe as “purposeful.” But, she added, “the bed itself is still a Four Seasons bed.” Like many guests, she was keeping away from home so as not to expose her family to the virus; Kass has a son with a compromised immune system due to a liver transplant. “This room was really a godsend,” she said. “I have so many doctor friends who are living in their basements, or a closet. I have friends who have rented Airbnbs. I have a friend who rented an R.V. She and her husband are both E.R. doctors, and their daughter had a liver transplant like my son did, so they moved to the R.V. in the driveway and their au pair is living with the children inside the house.”…

The New York Four Seasons took this mission on at the prompting of its owner, Ty Warner, the Beanie Baby mogul. Rudy Tauscher, the hotel’s general manager, organized the operational changes—effected in a mere five days—with the help of International SOS, a medical and travel-security consultancy.