A Longer Tour Around Old New York
Today we will look at the old hotels of New York. In some cases these buildings still stand. For others the names have changed. Some have been converted to apartments or other uses. And some are just a memory. Working our way from south to north let’s look at a dozen of the lesser known of New York’s hostelry’s.
Hotel Marlton just off of 5th avenue circa 1920. The center of Greenwich Village and now a street of endless cut price shoe stores, 8th Street was once a fashionable residential neighborhood. Many famous literary and artistic figures resided at the Hotel Marlton at one time. Starting in 1987 the Marlton was leased as a residence for students of The New School of Social Research. It is now closed as a hotel and a dormitory, and its future is undecided. Notice on the side of the hotel there is an advertisement for the hotel proclaiming it “absolutely fireproof.” There was a good reason for touting this feature. On St. Patrick’s Day in 1899 the Windsor Hotel on Fifth Avenue between 46th and 47th street caught fire killing about 90 people. Another one of New York’s forgotten disasters. Click here to see dramatic pictures of the fire and its aftermath.
UPDATE 2014 – The Marlton has re-opened as an upscale 107 room boutique hotel.
The Carteret Hotel 208 West 23rd Street circa 1930. The Carteret was converted to rental apartments in the 1960’s by real estate mogul Nathan Brodsky. A two bedroom apartment there now rents for between $3,000 and $4,000 a month.
Hotel York 488 7th Avenue at 36th Street circa 1915. In this card The York shows its convenience to the newly completed McKim Mead & White masterpiece the original Pennsylvania Station. The hotel which was built in 1902-1903 by architect Harry B. Mulliken is also now an apartment building.
Hotel Hermitage 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, 1936. A double bed room for $3.50! Only $2.50 per night if you shared a bathroom. Located next door to the Stanley Theatre which was showing a Katharine Hepburn film, A Woman Rebels. The Hotel Hermitage was located right in the heart of Times Square. It was renamed the National Hotel and demolished in the early 90’s as part of urban renewal or the Disneyfication of Times Square.
Hotel Felix Portland at 132-134 West 47th Street near Broadway circa 1925. The Felix Portland is still in operation and was recently renovated and goes under the name of the Portland Hotel or Hotel Sanctuary.
Hotel Flanders 135 W. 47th through to 136 W. 48th Street circa 1915. The hotel was sold in 1947 and eventually demolished.
Hotel Sutton 330 East 56th Street circa 1950. The hotel is now the AKA Sutton Place, a luxurious hotel offering extended stays in this very residential area of Manhattan.
Hotel Regent 70th Street & Broadway circa 1904. In 1909 the apartment hotel was acquired and combined by the neighboring smaller seven story Sherman Square Hotel for $900,000. The combined Sherman Square Hotel became seedier and seedier and stayed in business until 1968 when a fire drove out the remaining tenants. This once elegant hotel was demolished in 1969 for what was termed “urban renewal” for the declining upper west side of the 1960’s. (Not to be confused with the Regent Hotel at 2720-24 Broadway currently a transient shelter for homeless families.)
Hotel Hargrave 112 West 72nd Street just off Columbus Avenue circa 1930. The hotel was built in 1907 and was converted to condominiums in 1989.
Hotel Standish Hall 45 West 81st Street circa 1930. Built in 1922 right across the street from the American Museum of Natural History, the hotel was renamed the Excelsior Hotel in the 1950’s. It is still doing a brisk business.
Hotel Clendening 202 West 103rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue circa 1920. The hotel was named after John Clendening, whose large estate ran from about 99th street to 104th street from 8th Avenue to the Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway.) An 1845 real estate auction of the lots that comprised the estate brought some very low prices (even for 1845.) Frontage lots on the current Central Park West between 99th and 100th street sold for $26 apiece! The Hotel Clendening was demolished in 1965.
Hotel Alexandria 250 West 103rd Street off Broadway circa 1925. The Alexandria is now a cooperative apartment building.