The Unbuilt 2,500 Room Hotel Commonwealth – New York’s Largest Hotel
New York has always been a city of ambitious plans, dreams and schemes. But there are few rivals to the grandiose project for a hotel which was to be the largest in the world with 2,500 rooms and set up on a cooperative system to be owned by common investors.
The promotional brochure proclaimed:
TO BE BUILT BY THE COMMON WEALTH
TO BE MANAGED FOR THE COMMON GOOD
TO BE OPERATED FOR THE COMMON BENEFIT
The Hotel Commonwealth was to be situated on Broadway between 55th and 56th Streets. The description on the back of this 1918 postcard pictured above contains early 20th century ballyhoo of the highest order:
Hotel Commonwealth – “Greatest thing of its kind on earth.” The Commonwealth will be the first important building to be erected in conformance with the new building law to conserve light and sunshine for the general public. Through its 28 stories which will contain 2,500 rooms, it will rise 400 feet in the air in graceful terraces, or “set-backs” as the zoning law calls them, the flowering plants and shrubs upon each terrace giving the monster hostelry an unusual beauty of architecture, rivaled only by the ancient Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
The planned 2,500 rooms would be 500 more rooms than the largest hotel ever built. Continue reading