Merrill Move Not Done Deal, Hotel Fate Not Sealed, Expert Says ‘Let It Go!’

Embattled Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal has stepped down, possibly throwing a wrench into the financial giant’s almost-done deal to move uptown to Vornado’s Hotel Pennsylvania site.

The relocation discussion "is being reopened," according to the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo, citing a well-placed source: "Not back to square one, but it’s no longer the done deal people thought."

Activists hoping to preserve the decrepit-yet-historic McKim, Mead & White-designed hotel reacted to the news with a sigh of relief: "That was close!"

But is the big old inn really worth saving?

Tonight, a committee of local Community Board 5 will discuss the findings of its own two-person task force on the subject. The meeting takes place at 6 p.m., 227 West 27th Street, "A" Building, 8th floor, room A802.

In the meantime, The Observer posed the same question to Professor Mosette Broderick, director of NYU’s urban design and architecture studies program and a reputed expert on the early work of hotel designers McKim, Mead & White.

"I am, in general, a pro-preservation person," Dr. Broderick replied via email, "but I am not willing to battle for the hotel. It is indeed seedy and I would assume has long ago lost any of the richness it once might have had within the walls….

"With so little interest in older buildings and more important ones needing to be saved, I would be willing to let this one go."

Merrill Move Not Done Deal, Hotel Fate Not Sealed, Expert Says ‘Let It Go!’