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.