Today, the former Prince George Hotel, at 14 East 28th Street, is part of the nonprofit housing group Common Ground, providing low-income housing for about 400 once-homeless adults.
But when the hotel opened in 1904 (another building was added in 1912), it was a Beaux-Arts jewel reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s New York.
One of those lounges is now the Prince George Ballroom, a 4,800-foot space with ornately carved classical columns and ceiling murals inspired by the Renaissance.
Restored to its original beauty in the 1990s, it can be rented for parties and events.
Judging by how gorgeous it is now, it’s hard to imagine what it looked like in the 1980s.
Like the rest of the building, the ballroom was a rundown eyesore, painted white and used as a dining hall, social service office, even a basketball court.
I wish I could find a photo of it during its welfare-hotel days. Until then, the one above, as it looks today, and this one below, from 1915, will have to suffice.
Photos: Common Ground
Tags: 14 East 28th Street, Beaux-Arts buildings New York City, Common Ground housing, Edith Wharton's New York, Madison Square Park luxury hotels, New York in 1904, Prince George ballroom, Prince George Hotel