The Barbizon: luxe lodging for single women

New York has always had hotels for single girls; clean, safe places where a recent college grad or aspiring singer/actress/artist could stay before finding a real apartment elsewhere. (And the city still has chick-only residences, like this one here.)

But the Barbizon Hotel for Women may have been the classiest of all. Built in 1927 on East 63rd Street (near Bloomingdale’s), it billed itself as “New York’s Most Exclusive Hotel Residence for Women.” The 23-story Italian Renaissance structure was reportedly home for a time to Grace Kelly, Candice Bergen, and Joan Crawford. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This ad ran in The New Yorker in 1966, presumably to reassure parents that their actress/career girl daughter could live at The Barbizon and be well taken care of. Men were not allowed past the first floor, after all.

Not too long after this ad ran, The Barbizon’s days became numbered. In 1981 the hotel began admitting men, and in 2002 it was renamed the Melrose Hotel.

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3 Responses to “The Barbizon: luxe lodging for single women”

  1. Lidian Says:

    I took a yoga class at the Barbizon in the 70s as my gym requirement (we didn’t have a gym at my high school so you got to look around for some other venue). And I love old matchbook covers!

  2. “The Webster Apartments”: women only « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] the defunct female hotel category, check out the Barbizon and the [...]

  3. A TV shout-out to a debonair palace for independent women - The Bowery Boys Says:

    […] (New Yorker ad from 1966 courtesy Ephemeral New York) […]

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