Built in 1870, the Broadway Central Hotel (originally the Grand Central Hotel), was the largest hotel in the world. The eight-story, 400-room structure fronted Broadway between Bleecker and Third Street, then called Amity Street. Located in a prime entertainment district, the Broadway Central was luxe all the way: three fancy dining rooms, top of the line linens and furniture, the works.
But as the city’s nightlife and theater district marched north, the Broadway Central became sketchy, then sleazy. By the 1970s the building housed a flophouse called the University Hotel and an after-hours club catering to a glam-rock crowd.
After years of neglect, a wall of the structure collapsed suddenly and magnificently in 1973, killing four residents. The site is now occupied by a New York University law school dorm.