Hotel St. George: “absolutely fire-proof”

Hotels didn’t get more opulent than the St. George, Brooklyn Heights’ premier place to stay during the first half of the 20th century and home to various Brooklyn Dodgers. The hotel’s several buildings were put up between 1885 and 1929, when it became the largest hotel in New York City. The ballroom and saltwater pool were huge draws for locals.

A New York Times article from 2002 states that famed architect Montrose Morris designed one of the hotel’s structures—one with flag poles and a roof deck. Presumably this is it pictured below, in a turn-of-the-century ad from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Despite the assurance that it was fireproof, part of the Hotel St. George did go up in flames in 1995. By that year, after decades of deterioration, only one building was still an active hotel; several others had been sold off as co-ops, and a few remained empty.

Two of the empty structures and one apartment house burned through the night in a spectacular 16-alarm blaze. 

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5 Responses to “Hotel St. George: “absolutely fire-proof””

  1. The most miserly woman in Brooklyn « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] she slummed around renting apartments in Brooklyn Heights (staying for a time in the St. George Hotel) and Hoboken to avoid taxes. Supposedly she’d only eat cold oatmeal, and wouldn’t turn […]

  2. Peter Crowley Says:

    Until sometime in the late ’70s, the St. George featured – a couple of stories underground – an Olympic sized swimming pool with one, two and three meter diving boards, steam rooms and saunas, a jukebox, and an exercise room. It could be reached – without going outdoors – from the Clark Street subway station, and so was a perfect place to go swimming year round.

  3. New York’s coolest vintage liquor store signs « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] The Hotel St. George in Brooklyn Heights was once the borough’s largest and most luxurious hotel. Today it’s a dormitory for New York–area college students, who conveniently can access the hotel’s eponymous liquor store right downstairs. […]

  4. William Lee Says:

    There was also quite a significant Fire years before, as I recall, perhaps late ’70’s, where parked Cars a block away remained covered with Ice for over a week afterwards.

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