Posts Tagged ‘Hotels in New York City’

Where gentlemen got their hair done in 1852

June 7, 2012

The St. Nicholas Hotel, between Spring and Broome Streets on Broadway, was an opulent marvel of a hotel that catered to New York’s wealthy elite in the years before and after the Civil War.

Opened in 1853, it was the first hotel to offer “water closets” with hot and cold water as well as gas in every room.

Guests also had the opportunity to get coiffed and groomed, thanks to Phalon’s, the “hair dressing establishment” located in the hotel.

“A clean hairbrush for every visitor” Phalon’s advertised, reports a 1934 New York Times article on wood engravings, from which this 1853 print was likely made [from the NYPL Digital Collection]

The St. Nicholas bit the dust in 1884.

Hotel Piccadilly: toast of the Theater District

January 17, 2011

New York hotels go in and out of style just like clubs and bars, and once they outlive their usefulness, the get a date with the wrecking ball.

That’s the story of the Hotel Piccadilly. Its era as a hot place to book a room or meet for a drink was from the 1930s to the 1950s.

With about 700 rooms on West 45th Street, it was in the heart of the Theater District. “Smartly located in the center of everything” was its very midcentury-sounding slogan.

The Piccadilly also had the Piccadilly Circus Lounge, “gaily colorful spot in the thick of theaterdom patronized by show folk and show goers,” states a 1949 restaurant guide, Knife and Fork in New York.

It’s no surprise, of course, that when Times Square and midtown west went downhill, so did nearby hotels like the Piccadilly.

In 1982, it was torn down—and the Marriott Marquis built on its old site.

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

December 12, 2009

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.

The Carlton Arms will never pass for a Sheraton

August 8, 2008

In a previous incarnation, it was just another sleazy Third Avenue flophouse for trannies, welfare recipients, and the occasional adventurous Euro tourist. but since the early 80s, the Carlton Arms has been an edgy, artsy hotel with some spectacularly painted rooms. And pretty decent rates too.

Of course, even today’s $80 a night for a shared bath can’t compare to the going room rate in 1983, when this ad ran in the East Village Eye.

Check out some of the Carlton’s art and artists here.