The BT tower in central London, owned by the BT Group and a feature of the city’s skyline since the 1960s, has been purchased by US-based hotel operator MCR.

MRC intends to re-purpose the BT Tower as a hotel and open it to the public. BT Group will take several years to vacate the premises due to the scale and complexity of moving technical equipment.

MCR will partner with London-based Heatherwick Studio to execute the change and there will be significant time for design development and engagement with local communities before proposals are revealed.

Opened in 1965 and listed as of Grade II importance by England’s Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, the tower is 581 feet high, with a further section of aerial rigging bringing the total height to 620 feet.

BT Tower was open to the public until 1971, with a restaurant making use of the revolving top floor. Since 1984, the top floor has regularly hosted corporate and charity events.

New owner MCR operates hotels in New York, including The High Line Hotel and the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport. The company recently sold the Residence Inn by Marriott Philadelphia Langhorne in the US.

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MCR CEO and owner Tyler Morse commented: “We are proud to become owners and custodians of the iconic BT tower. We will take our time to carefully develop proposals that respect the London landmark’s rich history and open the building for everyone to enjoy.”