The wildly ornate lobby inside a budget hotel

From the outside, the Hotel Wolcott, at 4 East 31st Street, isn’t anything extraordinary.

Sure, this discount hotel has a lovely Beaux-Arts exterior, mostly obscured by scaffolding these days. But so do many other buildings nearby.

Still, if you head past the no-frills entrance and look up at the lobby ceiling . . . wow!

It’s a Louis XVI–style time machine, with an ornate high ceiling, mirrored panels, stained glass, marble pillars, and incredible chandeliers.

All this ornamentation reflects the Hotel Wolcott’s early days as a luxurious residence for the rich in Gilded Age New York.

Built in 1904, guests included Edith Wharton, and the hotel is frequently mentioned in society columns of the era.

It’s not everyone’s style, but the ceiling is incredibly preserved. A copy of the hotel’s brochure from 1904 is available on its website.

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One Response to “The wildly ornate lobby inside a budget hotel”

  1. The dazzling tiles of a Central Park ceiling « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] York has lots of beautiful ballroom, bar, and lobby ceilings. One of the most magical is at the Bethesda Arcade—the arched walkway in the center of the park [...]

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