Tag Archives: Hotel Astor

Classic Hollywood #34

Jayne Mansfield In A Revealing Pose – 1955

Later That Year, Jayne Is Photographed With Her Role Model, Marilyn Monroe

Jayne Mansfield in a negligee 1955 photo Milton Greene

This photograph of Jayne Mansfield in a sheer negligee top is not your standard cheesecake photo. And it’s not because Jayne is a little overexposed, which tended to be her modus operandi in front of the camera.

It is because the photograph was taken by Milton Greene, known for his business partnership with Marilyn Monroe. In 1955, Greene did a whole session of photographs with Mansfield and made some stunning images of her.

Considering Greene’s business dealings and personal closeness to Marilyn Monroe,(Marilyn was living for a time with Greene and his wife Amy) it is a bit of a surprise that Marilyn Continue reading

Historic List Of Every Hotel In Manhattan In 1964

All The Hotels In Manhattan With Addresses and Telephone Numbers From 50 Years Ago

New York Guidebook John KouwenhovenFrom one of the best (and for some reason uncommon) guidebooks to New York City ever published, The New York Guidebook edited by John A. Kouwenhoven (Dell) 1964, comes this useful list of every hotel in Manhattan. We should clarify “every” with the word “approved” hotel and motel. In other words, the flop houses on The Bowery or other squalid hotels did not make the final cut.

The New York Guidebook was published with the 1964 New York World’s Fair visitor in mind as there is a special section devoted to it.

All together there are 183 hotels listed in the book. If you are wondering about the prices, they are not listed. But by checking another pamphlet from the time I discovered The Plaza Hotel was charging from $20 – $34 per night for a double room, while The Madison Square Hotel was charging $7 – $8 per night for a double.

You will note that all the telephone numbers begin with the letter prefix’s such as GR for Gramercy, BU for Butterfield, CI for Circle and RH for Rhinelander. This was because the telephone exchange corresponded with the neighborhood a person or business was located in.  It is a much more picturesque way of assigning a phone number and made remembering the number much easier. PEnnsylvania 6-5000 anybody?

What is also interesting to notice is how many of these hotels are still in existence today and how many which had been in business for such a long time have now vanished.

This is presented as a research tool, but for many the list will bring up a wisp of nostalgia when you see the names Hotel Astor, The Drake, Biltmore and Savoy. I wish there was a list like this available online for every decade in New York City from the 1800’s and on.

So here is our online contribution to researchers or those who are just curious.

Hotels of Manhattan –  1964:

Abbey Hotel, 151 W. 51st St., N. Y. 19, N. Y., (CI 6-9400)

Aberdeen Hotel, 17 W. 32nd St., N. Y. 1, N. Y., (PE 6-1600)

Adams Hotel, 2 E. 86th St., N. Y. 28, N. Y., (RH 4-1800)

Alamac Hotel, 71st St. & Broadway, N. Y. 23, N. Y., (EN 2-5000)

Albert Hotel, 23 E. 10th St., N. Y. 3, N. Y., (OR 7-0100)

Alden Hotel, 225 Central Park W., N. Y. 24, N. Y., (TR 3-7300)

Algonquin Hotel, 59 W. 44th St., N. Y. 36, N. Y., (MU 7-4400) Continue reading

Times Square January 11, 1954 – Lots of Snow And Cold Weather

January 11-12, 1954 – Biggest Snowstorm In Five Years Hits New York

Times Square Snowstorm Jan 12 1954

60 years ago, on Monday January 11, 1954 New York City got walloped with a 10 inch snowstorm with temperatures dipping down to 15 degrees. The storm continued on through Tuesday making travel difficult and it gave sanitation department workers extra long shifts for snow removal. It was the heaviest snowfall in New York City since December 19-20, 1948, when more than 19 inches fell.

The scene shown here is Times Square looking north with the Hotel Astor on the left. Directly across the street is the famous Bond Clothiers advertising sign.

The snow did not result in shutting down New York City schools. Some elementary schools did allow girls to be dismissed 15 minutes early to spare them from being pelted with snowballs by the boys. Just outside of the city it was a different story as Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties generally did close public and parochial schools for the day.

The snow ended at 7:05 a.m. on January 12. Highways were mostly kept clear, but most drivers played it safe and left their cars at home. The real problem was that over the next two days the temperature in New York kept dropping. It went down to a low of 11 degrees, freezing the snow into hard packed ice, making it difficult for pedestrians to navigate the streets.

Western Rockland and northern Westchester counties, saw the temperature dip to as low as two below zero. In northern Maine the temperature was minus 25.

The cold wave stuck around for a whole week. The temperature hit a two year low in New York City on the morning of January 18. The mercury registered just 8.8 degrees at 1:30 a.m.. The weather finally changed on January 19 when the temperature rose to 40 degrees.

New York’s Big Snowstorm Of 1948

December 19, 1948 – Times Square 8:53 pm

On this day 63 years ago, 19.6 inches of snow blanketed the city.  Here is Times Square in the midst of this snowstorm with only a few pedestrians and cars visible. Because it was a Sunday, traffic was light and the city was able to prepare and battle the storm efficiently. Mayor William O’Dwyer had a force of 18,340 men to remove the snow and keep the city running.

To the disappointment of children on Monday, New York City schools were open.

Looking north from the Times Building we see on the left The Paramount Building with the Paramount Theatre’s marquee lights casting an extreme white glow and on the next block The Hotel Astor. On the right are two iconic neon advertising signs; one for Camel cigarettes between 43rd and 44th Streets and the other for Bond Clothiers between 44th and 45th Streets.

The Bond sign contained nearly two miles of neon and had two fifty foot nude figures at each end, one male and one female. A huge recirculating waterfall between the two figures topped off this amazing advertising sign which was in place from 1948-1954.