Old New York In Postcards #20 – Hotels Of The Past On The Upper West Side

Old New York Hotels Of The Upper West Side from 70th – 86th Streets

Hotel MAjestic 72nd St Central Park WestFor the past 150 years New York has had a thriving hotel industry. With real estate prices continually rising in Manhattan, more new hotels are opening now in Queens and Brooklyn.

The Plaza, The Waldorf Astoria and the St. Regis have over a century of  history. Those hostelry’s are the exception to longevity. Many of New York’s hotels are constantly in flux with ownership and name changes. Often smaller hotels have gone out of business because the real estate they sat upon was too valuable. Developers acquire the hotel and surrounding parcels and the hotel passes into history. Other times the buildings are spiffied up after years of neglect and converted from hotels to apartments.

Here are some views of the upper west side’s hotels of the past.

Hotel Emerson 75th Street off BroadwayThe Hotel Emerson at 166 West 75th Street off Broadway was a 300 room 16 story hotel opened in 1922, designed by Robert Lyons. In 1959 it became the Hotel Lincoln Square. The building has been remodeled and turned into rental apartments and is now named the Amstrdm. (That’s right, they cut out some vowels.)

Hotel Nevada Broadway between 69th and 70th Streets New York CityThe Hotel Nevada was at 2025 Broadway between 69th and 70th Streets. It was an older 7 story hotel that at one time was an apartment house simply called “The Nevada.” In 1923 a two room apartment with bath could be rented for $1,500 per year.

A 29 story building called the Nevada Towers which opened in 1974 now stands on the site.

228 West 71st Street Hotel Robert FultonNot very far away from the Hotel Nevada was the Hotel Robert Fulton at 228 West 71st Street. Like the Hotel Emerson, the Hotel Robert Fulton was another 300 room, 14 story hotel with moderate prices. In 1926 when the hotel opened moderate prices meant $3.00 for a single room with bath and $4.00 for a double. If you needed parking for your auto, it was $1.50 per day. The hotel is now an apartment building.

Central Park West 86th Street Peter Stuyvesant HotelThe Hotel Peter Stuyvesant had some great views on the corner of 86th Street and Central Park West. Built by Harry Mulliken and Edgar Moeller the building opened in 1906 as the Central Park View luxury apartments.  It became the Hotel Peter Stuyvesant after World War I. The hotel was converted back into apartments in the late 1940s. Today the building is simply known as 257 Central Park West.

Broadway 86th Street Hotel Bretton Hall New York CityFurther west on 86th Street off of Broadway you could stay at the Hotel Bretton Hall. The 12 story hotel was built in 1903, also by Harry Mulliken of  the aforementioned Hotel Peter Stuyvesant. The building still stands and has been converted into apartments.

While many New Yorkers know the famous art deco, twin towered masterpiece the San Remo apartments, many do not know that a hotel of the same name previously occupied the site. From the 1890s until 1929 the Hotel San Remo was located on Central Park West between 74th and 75th Streets.

The San Remo opened October 1, 1891 and was a distinguished and elegant fixture on the upper west side. This is one of the few cases where the building that replaced the original is an improvement.

We’ll conclude with the hotel we started with. It’s another hotel that has the same name as the apartment building that occupies the site today. Directly south of the famous Dakota apartments on 72nd Street and Central Park West stood the Hotel Majestic.

Opened in 1894, the hotel was popular as a family hotel with over 700 rooms.

When the Hotel Majestic and the old Waldorf Astoria both closed in 1929 it was lamented that the city would lose 1,600 rooms between these two hotels alone.

When the new Majestic was first being built it was planned to be a 45 story hotel. The Great Depression took care of that notion and the building was scaled back to 29 floors and became an apartment building instead.

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