The cost of a New York hotel room in the 1930s

Today, a room at the 27-story Radisson Lexington Hotel, at 48th Street, would probably run you three or four hundred bucks a night at least. 

But back in the 1930s, soon after this colossal structure was built, room rates were more like three or four bucks a night. That’s when it was known simply as the Hotel Lexington.

And look at the possible accommodations: two people, two twin beds, no higher than $8 a night!

See the hotel as it looks today here.

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7 Responses to “The cost of a New York hotel room in the 1930s”

  1. Dennis Hernandez Says:

    At a time when most working stiffs made $7 – $14 a week that was pretty pricey. By comparison today’s rates are a bargain!

  2. Christopher Says:

    $8 adjusted for inflation is about $125 dollars in 2008 dollars (if you set the base year as 1932), so there’s still rate inflation going on. Actually a considerable amount.

  3. Christine Says:

    Too bad they had to put the Starbucks sign in the front entrance.

  4. The Gothic-style Starbucks on Lexington Avenue | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] 27-story Lexington (check out these cheapo 1930s room prices) was previously known for its mid-century Hawaiian Room and illustrious residents Joe DiMaggio and […]

  5. The Gothic-style Starbucks on Lexington Avenue ⋆ New York city blog Says:

    […] 27-story Lexington (check out these cheapo 1930s room prices) was previously known for its mid-century Hawaiian Room and illustrious residents Joe DiMaggio and […]

  6. The Gothic-style Starbucks on Lexington Avenue | News for New Yorkers Says:

    […] 27-story Lexington (check out these cheapo 1930s room prices) was previously known for its mid-century Hawaiian Room and illustrious residents Joe DiMaggio and […]

  7. NoriMori Says:

    It’s so weird to me how often people marvel at how “cheap” things were nearly a century ago without accounting in the slightest for inflation, as if $8 or even $3 were pocket change back then like they are now.

    $3 was not cheap in the sense that $3 is cheap now. It was cheap in the sense that a $60 hotel room for one person is cheap now. In 1938, federal minimum wage (which not everyone was eligible for) was 25¢/hour. So if you earned minimum wage and you worked 8 hours a day, $3 was a day and a half worth of pay.

    So sure, it was affordable for a middle class person, but it wasn’t pocket change. It was enough money that you’d be pretty upset if you lost it in the street.

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