Susan Lucci helps Garden City Hotel celebrate 140th anniversary

Actress and Garden City resident Susan Lucci, along with local leaders and owner Morris Moinian, celebrated the 140th anniversary of the legendary hotel on July 30, 2014. (Credit: Newsday / Jeffrey Basinger)

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Emmy Award winning actress Susan Lucci starred in the celebration Wednesday of the Garden City Hotel's 140th anniversary on the site's front lawn.

"Many of my personal memories have begun here at the Garden City Hotel," said Lucci, 67, who spent her first college summer as a waitress at the hotel and the next three as a hostess at a restaurant there.

She also met the man who has been her husband for the past 45 years, Helmut Huber, then the hotel's banquet chef.

Lucci, best known as Erica Kane in the daytime television series "All My Children" and now starring in the Lifetime series "Devious Maids," grew up and raised her own children in Garden City.

"Almost every single [major] event in my life leads back to the Garden City Hotel," said the actress, who ended the late morning event posing with Morris Moinian, president of the Fortuna Realty Group. His company bought the hotel in 2012 for $42 million and assumed a $25 million mortgage. It then did $30 million in renovations.

"After 140 years, the Garden City Hotel brand is one that defines first class service and gracious hospitality," he said.

In its 140 years, the hotel has gone through five incarnations, now with 272 rooms and suites, and a clientele that includes the wealthy, the celebrated and the politically powerful.

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First built in 1874 by Garden City's founder, Alexander Turney Stewart, a newer version opened in 1895 but burned down in 1899. A new hotel opened in 1901. That hotel was demolished in 1973. A new Garden City Hotel opened in 1983.

The celebration Wednesday also included six former Garden City mayors, Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin, who was standing in for Supervisor Kate Murray; and Village Trustee Richard Silver, who was standing in for Mayor John Watras.

Also on hand were Jack and Connie Carroll, of Massapequa Park, who were married at the hotel in 1954 and whose family surprised them with a 60th anniversary party there this year.

"The hotel has been a meaningful structure in our lives," Connie Carroll said.

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