Tag Archives: Hotel Savoy

Old New York In Photos #72 – Hotel Netherland circa 1912

The Hotel Netherland Fifth Avenue and 59th Street c. 1912

Located at 783 Fifth Avenue on the corner of 59th Street, the Hotel New Netherlands, was built by the Astor estate under William Waldorf Astor and leased by General Ferdinand P. Earle. For 33 years it was one of the finest of New York’s hostelries.

After the Hotel New Netherlands opened on June 1, 1893, a guide book noted the new hotel’s room rates as “unannounced, but among the most expensive.”

The New Netherlands was on the European plan, which meant you didn’t necessarily have to have your meals at the hotel, but you could eat there for an extra charge.

For a comparison the most expensive New York hotels on the European plan; the Normandie; Vendome; Brunswick; and Gilsey had rooms starting at $2.00 per night. the Waldorf was $2.50 per night. On the American plan with meals included, the Windsor was $6.00 and the Savoy was $4.50. The only other hotels besides the New Netherlands that did not list their prices were the Grenoble and the Plaza.

Architect William Hume designed what was at the time the tallest hotel in the world at 17 stories and 229 feet. The hotel had a fine panoramic view of the city. The seemingly endless green expanse of Central Park was directly across the street.  From the higher floors looking past the park you could see the Hudson River and looking southeast was a clear view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s an interesting design and as you look up at the ornate hotel you will notice a hodgepodge of styles.

The hotel was renamed in 1908 as the Hotel Netherland. Later it was the home to the famous Louis Sherry’s restaurant from 1919-1925. When the hotel closed in 1925, it was soon demolished and replaced by the 35 story Sherry-Netherland Hotel in 1927.  The address of the new hotel was changed to 781 Fifth Avenue.

The exact year our photograph by the Detroit Publishing Company is not certain. It probably falls between 1912 -1914 based upon the vehicles in the street. A look at the scene around the hotel shows a bustling metropolis in action. Examining the details is always interesting, you can click on any photo below to enlarge.

The Hotel Netherland’s advertising sign and roof line are quite a sight. The turret is absolutely great. Some of the hotel’s windows are open with curtains parted to let in light on this sunny day.

On the corner of the Netherland are these fantastic light fixtures. 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

All New York City Sidewalks Are Not Created Equal

What Is The Width Of The Sidewalks In Manhattan?

Following up on our November 19, story, All New York City Streets Are Not Created Equal, the 1904 World Almanac has a list of the width of Manhattan’s sidewalks. The chart can provide the answer to which avenue has wider sidewalks Fifth Avenue or Lenox Avenue? While this may not be a burning question on anyone’s mind, it is interesting to see how much the sidewalk width varies from street to street and avenue to avenue.  The obvious differences are plainly apparent to any New Yorker walking the streets so we thought it would be worth it to reproduce this list with the actual measurements.

Width of Sidewalks in Manhattan Borough

In streets 40 feet wide 10 ft.
In streets 50 feet wide 13 ft.
In streets 60 feet wide 15 ft.
In streets 70 feet wide 18 ft.
In streets 80 feet wide 19 ft.
In streets above 80 feet, not exceeding 100 feet. 20 ft.
All streets more than 100 feet 22 ft.
Lenox and 7th Avenues, north of W. 110th St 35 ft.
Grand Boulevard (Broadway above 59th Street) 24 ft.
Manhattan St. 15 ft.
Lexington Avenue 18 ft. 6 in.
Madison Avenue 19 ft.
5th Avenue 30 ft.
St. Nicholas Avenue 22 ft.
Park Avenue from E. 49th to E. 56th St. and from E. 96th St. to Harlem River 15 ft.
West End Avenue 30 ft.
Central Park West, from W, 59th St. to W. 110th, East side 27 ft.
Central Park West, from W. 59th St. to W. 110th, West side 35 ft. 6in.

How many of these sidewalk measurements remained the same throughout the 20th century is open to conjecture. I would imagine that many sidewalks have had their original dimensions changed due to the high value of Manhattan real estate.

click to enlarge

This photograph, taken November 10, 1914 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street looking south, has a clear view of the sidewalk. The men near the carriage are standing in front of the Hotel Savoy (built 1892 – demolished 1927). On the right at 58th Street is the Cornelius Vanderbilt II mansion (built 1893 – demolished 1926).  It does not appear that the sidewalk is actually 30 feet wide.