For a few years, scaffolding had obscured the facade of what was once the Village Nursing Home, a faux-colonial, six-story residence on the corner of Hudson and West 12th Streets.
Now the scaffolding has been removed. And the entrance to the building—newly converted into a luxury co-op called the Abingdon—displays a clue to its illustrious past.
“Laura Spelman Hall” is carved above the doorway. It’s the formal name of the building from 1920 to the 1950s, when 607 Hudson Street was a women’s residence run by the YWCA.
To score a room there, a woman could earn no more than $30 a week. The cost: “$8.65 to $12.65 a week with two meals weekdays and three on Sunday,” reports this old city guidebook.
Not a bad deal . . . and a lot cheaper than the going rate for a place there now. One of the penthouse apartments sold for $22 million!
607 Hudson Street actually started out as a working woman’s home even before the YWCA took it over.
Called the Trowmart Inn, it was built by a businessman who hoped to prevent women from becoming spinsters by offering them a pleasant place to be courted by potential husbands.
[1906 photo: Museum of the City of New York]