Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 228: Hotel History: The Barbizon Hotel, New York

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 228: The Barbizon Hotel, New York

Stanley Turkel | March 17, 2020

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: Barbizon Hotel, New York

The Barbizon Hotel for Women was built in 1927 as a residential hotel and clubhouse for single women who came to New York for professional opportunities. Designed by the prominent hotel architects Murgatroyd & Ogden, the 23rd-story Barbizon Hotel is an excellent example of the 1920s apartment hotel and is notable for its design quality. The Barbizon’s design reflects the influence of architect Arthur Loomis Harmon’s enormous Shelton Hotel in New York. Harmon, who would help design the Empire State Building a few years later, made visionary use of the city’s 1916 zoning law to admit light and air to the streets below.

In the period following World War I, the number of women attending college began to approach that of men for the first time. Unlike the graduates of preceding generation, three quarters of whom had intended to become teachers, these women planned on careers in business, the social sciences or the professions. Nearly every woman student expected to find a job upon graduation in a major city.

The demand for inexpensive housing for single women led to the construction of several large residential hotels in Manhattan. Of these, the Barbizon Hotel, which was equipped with special studio, rehearsal and concert spaces to attract women pursuing careers became the most renowned. Many of its residents became prominent professional women including Sylvia Plath, who wrote about her residence at the Barbizon in the novel The Bell Jar.

The Barbizon’s first floor was equipped with a theater, stage and pipe organ with a seating capacity of 300. The upper floors of the tower contained studios for painters, sculptors, musicians and drama students. The hotel also included a gymnasium, swimming pool, coffee shop, library, lecture rooms, an auditorium, a solarium and a large roof garden on the 18th floor.

On the Lexington Avenue side of the building, there were shops including a dry cleaner, hairdresser, pharmacy, millinery shop and bookstore. The hotel also leased meeting and exhibition space to the Arts Council of New York and meeting rooms to the Wellesley, Cornell and Mount Holyoke Women’s Clubs.

In 1923, Rider’s New York City Guide listed only three other hotels catering to businesswomen: the Martha Washington at 29 East 29th Street, the Rutledge Hotel for Women at 161 Lexington Avenue and the Allerton House for Women at 57th Street and Lexington Avenue.

The Barbizon Hotel advertised that it was a cultural and social center which included concerts on radio station WOR, dramatic performances by the Barbizon Players, the Irish Theater with actors from the Abbey Theater, art exhibits, and lectures by the Barbizon Book and Pen Club.

This rich cultural program, the special studio and rehearsal rooms, reasonable prices and complimentary breakfasts attracted many women pursuing careers in the arts. Notable residents included the actress Aline McDermott while she was appearing on Broadway in the Children’s Hour, Jennifer Jones, Gene Tierney, Eudora Weltz and Titanic survivor Margaret Tobin Brown, star of the Unsinkable Molly Brown who passed away during her stay at the Barbizon in 1932. During the 1940s, several other performers resided at the Barbizon including comedian Peggy Cass, musical comedy star Elaine Stritch, actress Chloris Leachman, future first lady Nancy Davis (Reagan) and actress Grace Kelly.

The Barbizon Hotel has been the location of the following popular cultural performances:

  • In the critically acclaimed television series Mad Men, The Barbizon is noted as the place of residence of one of Don Draper’s post-divorce love interests, Bethany Van Nuys.
  • In the 1967 Nick Carter spy novel The Red Guard, Carter books his teenage god-daughter into The Barbizon.
  • In the 2015 Marvel TV Series Agent Carter, Peggy Carter lives in the Griffith, a fictional hotel heavily inspired by The Barbizon and located on 63rd Street & Lexington Avenue.
  • In Sylvia Plath’s novel, The Bell Jar, The Barbizon is prominently featured under the name “The Amazon”. The novel’s protagonist, Esther Greenwood, lives there during a summer internship at a fashion magazine. This event is based on Plath’s real-life internship at the magazine Mademoiselle in 1953.
  • In Fiona Davis’s debut novel, The Dollhouse, The Barbizon Hotel is featured in a fictitious coming-of-age story that details two generations of young women whose lives intersect.
  • Michael Callahan’s debut novel Searching For Grace Kelly, is set in 1955 at The Barbizon. The novel was inspired by Callahan’s 2010 article about The Barbizon in Vanity Fair, titled Sorority On E. 63rd

By the mid 1970s, the Barbizon was beginning to show its age, was half filled and losing money. A floor-by-floor renovation was begun and in February 1981 the hotel began accepting male guests. The tower studios were converted to expensive apartments with long leases in 1982. In 1983, the hotel was acquired by KLM Airlines and its name was changed to the Golden Tulip Barbizon Hotel. In 1988, the hotel passed to a group led by Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, who planned to market it as an urban spa. In 2001, the hotel was acquired by the Barbizon Hotel Associates, an affiliate of BPG Properties, which operated it as part of its Melrose Hotel chain. In 2005, BPG converted the building into condominium apartments and renamed it the Barbizon 63. The building includes a large indoor pool which is part of the Equinox Fitness Club.

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission added the building to its roster in 2012, noting that the structure is “an excellent representative of the 1920s apartment hotel building and is notable for the high quality of its design.”

My New Book “Hotel Mavens Volume 3: Bob and Larry Tisch, Curt Strand, Ralph Hitz, Cesar Ritz, Raymond Orteig” has just been published.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)
  • Great American Hotel Architects Volume I (2019)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.90

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsInstagram post 2058154807688072771_13352013661Instagram post 2058153280751644258_13352013661Instagram post 2058151435568305235_13352013661Instagram post 2058149313074296809_13352013661Instagram post 2058148571504693314_13352013661Follow on Instagram

Tags

barbizon hotelhotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe barbizon hotel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 227: Hotel History: The Carlyle Hotel, New York (1929)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 226 Hotel History: Peninsula Hotel, New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 225: Hotel History: The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, AlabamaNobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: The Red Lion InnNobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 227: Hotel History: The Carlyle Hotel, New York (1929)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 227: Hotel History: The Carlyle Hotel, New York (1929)

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: Carlyle Hotel, New York (190 Rooms)

The Carlyle Hotel was built by Moses Ginsberg and designed in Art Deco style by architects Sylvan Bien (1893-1959) and Harry M. Prince. Bien and Prince both had previously worked at the famous architectural firm of Warren & Wetmore. Since opening in 1930, The Carlyle has become a living legend that embodies the spirit of New York: elegant, sparkling, worldly and nostalgic.

However, by the time the Carlyle was ready to open its doors, the 1929 stock market crash ended the boom times. The new hotel went into receivership in 1931 and was sold to the Lyleson Corporation in 1932. The new owners kept the original management which was able to improve occupancy and to stabilize the Carlyles’ financial situation. In 1948, New York businessman Robert Whittle Dowling purchased the Carlyle and began to transform it into the most fashionable hotel in Manhattan. It became known as the “New York White House” during President John F. Kennedy’s administration who maintained an apartment on the 34th floor for the last ten years of his life. He occupied the apartment in a well-publicized visit for a few days before his inauguration in January 1961.

For almost nine decades, The Carlyle on the elegant upper East Side of New York City has pampered rich and famous guests from around the world with its timeless luxury, savvy discretion, attention to detail, smooth service and personalized touches. This swanky iconic hotspot, a Rosewood Hotels property, was celebrated in a cool new feature-length documentary film, Always at The Carlyle in 2018. The movie embraces more than 100 personalities, who share their colorful Carlyle stories. Among the celebrities spotlighted are George Clooney, Harrison Ford, Anthony Bourdain, Tommy Lee Jones, Roger Federer, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Jon Hamm, Lenny Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, Herb Albert, Condoleezza Rice, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Shaffer, Vera Wang, Alexa Ray Joel, Graydon Carter, Bill Murray, Nina Garcia, Isaac Mizrahi, Buster Poindexter, Rita Wilson and Elaine Stritch. Yet some of the most gracious and insightful sound-bites are voiced by staff, many of whom have worked at The Carlyle for decades, such as the concierge Dwight Owsley. These well-trained employees personify what The Carlyle does best.

The Café Carlyle is noted for the murals by Marcel Vertès, which were cleaned in the summer of 2007 as part of a renovation and redecoration of the café. Interior designer Scott Salvator oversaw the renovation and redecoration, the first significant alterations to the café since its debut in 1955. During the renovations, the café closed for three months and was widely praised after reopening in September 2007. Salvator removed the dropped acoustical ceiling, exposing two feet of newly found space which allowed for a modern sound and a lighting system to appeal to a younger generation.

The Bemelmans Bar is decorated with murals depicting Madeline in Central Park painted by Ludwig Bemelmans. Bemelmans is the namesake of the bar, and his murals there are his only artwork on display to the public. Instead of accepting payment for his work, Bemelmans received a year and a half of accommodations at the Carlyle for himself and his family.

Both the hotel’s Café Carlyle and Bemelmans Bar are musical havens featuring outstanding performers. For decades dapper Bobby Short played piano and with his distinctive voice exemplified café society sophistication. More recently, the Café Carlyle has featured Rita Wilson, Alan Cummings, Linda Lavin, Gina Gershon, Kathleen Turner and Jeff Goldblum.

It is interesting that the Carlyle has survived in splendid isolation that has heightened its visibility in comparison with most of these other pioneering residential towers. Much of the credit for that must go to Peter Sharp, the late developer who bought the hotel and also owned the low-rise building that fills the avenue blockfront across the street. That building was for many years the headquarters of Parke-Bernet, the auction house that was subsequently acquired by Sotherby’s which relocated it to a warehouse-like building on 72nd Street and York Avenue. After World War II, Parke- Bernet was the center of the art world and largely responsible for many art galleries moving uptown around Madison Avenue from 57th Street. Sharp could have erected a very major new tower on the site after the auction house was moved, but he chose to not develop it and to protect the sweeping Central Park views for the Carlyle. The low-rise building now contains several important art galleries and some offices of the real estate division of Sotheby’s as well as some high-end boutiques.

The Carlyle has consistently been recognized as one of the top hotels by the world’s leading publications, travel magazines and consumer organizations:

  • Travel & Leisure Top 15 Hotels in New York City 2019
  • Condè Nast Traveler the Best Hotels and Resorts in the World: The 2019 Gold List
  • Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award 2019
  • S. News Best USA Hotels 2019
  • S. New Best New York Hotels 2019
  • S. News Best New York City Hotels 2019
  • Harper’s Bazaar The 30 Best Hotels in New York City

My New Book “Hotel Mavens Volume 3: Bob and Larry Tisch, Curt Strand, Ralph Hitz, Cesar Ritz, Raymond Orteig” has just been published.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)
  • Great American Hotel Architects Volume I (2019)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.95

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsInstagram post 2058154807688072771_13352013661Instagram post 2058153280751644258_13352013661Instagram post 2058151435568305235_13352013661Instagram post 2058149313074296809_13352013661Instagram post 2058148571504693314_13352013661Follow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe carlylethe carlyle hotel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 226 Hotel History: Peninsula Hotel, New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 225: Hotel History: The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, AlabamaNobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: The Red Lion InnNobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 226: Hotel History: Peninsula Hotel, New York

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 226 Hotel History: Peninsula Hotel, New York

Stanley Turkel | February 04, 2020

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: Peninsula Hotel, New York (241 Rooms)

On February 7, 1989, the Peninsula Hotel was designated as a Landmark by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission. The original neo-Italian Renaissance Gotham Hotel is one of the few structures on Fifth Avenue which recalls the golden age of luxury hotels and the prominent place they occupied in the formation of the city. Erected in 1905, it was designed by the architectural firm of Hiss & Weekes and is among the oldest of the early “skyscraper” hotels. These hotels heralded the transformation of Fifth Avenue from an exclusive residential street – Millionaires’ Row − to a fashionable commercial thoroughfare. Rising twenty stories, including a multi-storied rooftop addition, at the southwest corner of West 55th Street and Fifth Avenue, the boldly-rendered Gotham is a stylistic counterpoint to its contemporary, the flamboyant Beaux-Arts St. Regis Hotel directly across Fifth Avenue. It also skillfully complements McKim, Mead & White’s University Club which adjoins the Peninsula to the south.

The Architectural Record reported in November 1902:

We all know how woefully individualistic our builders have been, resulting in a mass of fragmentary, inharmonious, clashing architecture, no attempt being made to work in common for the sake of beauty and uniformity. This great projected hotel (the Gotham) of eighteen stories is designed to harmonize with the adjacent University Club, which is a fine piece of architecture. The architectural lines of the hotel will follow the lines of the University Club. The same centre line will make a continuous arcade of five openings in the club and five in the hotel. The stone balustrade will be carried out on the same lines of the present balustrade of the club. Thus the whole block will be tied together. The general scheme of architecture is also the same as that of the club, being Italian Renaissance as far as possible in an eighteen storied building.

The firm of Hiss & Weekes continued in practice for thirty-four years producing a number of buildings in the city including: the spectacular Belnord Apartments (1908-09), a massive neo-Italian Renaissance apartment house on West 86th Street (a designated New York City Landmark); and the handsome Beaux-Arts townhouses at 6 and 8 West 65th Street (now in the Upper East Side Historic District).

The Gotham never seemed to find the favor it sought, in part because it was overshadowed by the subsequent openings of the St. Regis Hotel across Fifth Avenue and then the Plaza Hotel four blocks to the north. The Gotham was foreclosed in 1908 after it failed to get a liquor license. As Christopher Gray reported in his Streetscapes article in the New York Times (January 3, 1999):

The Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church is at the northwest corner of 55th and Fifth and the St. Regis had just barely won permission to serve liquor − it was in technical violation of a restriction prohibiting liquor sales within 200 feet of a church. The Gotham, directly across 55th Street from the church was unequivocally in violation of the law. Several newspaper accounts state that United States Senator Thomas C. Platt and other influential politicians were silent partners on the original Gotham team, and in 1905 and 1907 bills were introduced in the New York State Legislature exempting hotels from the provision if they had more than 200 rooms.

Neither of the bills, which were clearly fashioned for the Gotham, passed. In 1908 the Gotham went into foreclosure over a $741 butcher’s bill, and the Real Estate Record & Guide said that the failure was due solely to the liquor restriction, which it denounced as ludicrous. The hotel, which had cost $4 million to build, was sold for $2.45 million.

The hotel had various owners until it was sold in 1920 to William and Julius Manger, proprietors of the Manger chain of hotels including the Martha Washington Hotel for Women. Subsequently, the Kirkeby Hotel Group purchased the property in 1944. Other owners were Mrs. Evelyn Sharp, Webb & Knapp, Wellington Associates, Swiss hotel owner Rene Hatt, Sol Goldman, Irving Goldman, Arthur Cohen, William Zeckendorf Jr. and Steven Goodstein. Finally, in 1988, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd., the parent company of the Peninsula Group of hotels in Asia, bought the Gotham Hotel for $127 million and renamed it the Peninsula Hotel. At last, the Gotham got the owner it had needed since 1905. If you ever stayed at the original Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, you know what true luxury and service really feel like: complimentary fruit and champagne in your room while watching the Star Ferry cross the harbor outside your window; a Rolls-Royce for guest transportation to meetings and the airport; savoring a double espresso in the busy lobby bar while reading the International Herald Tribune.

The New York Peninsula Hotel has received the AAA Five Diamond Award for thirteen consecutive years. The Peninsula has one of the best and biggest hotel health clubs in New York including a 35,000 square foot spa, a glass-enclosed swimming pool and the rooftop bar and terrace.

The hotel has opted for an amenity that is more sporty than chic: chauffeur-driven Mini Coopers. The cars are available for up to three hours a day to guests who book a suite. Passenger can follow city tours that are stored on iPhones or iPads in the cars, or they can simply tell drivers where they want to go. The cars, the Mini Cooper S Clubman model, have been customized a bit. They hold a mini-refrigerator and a cargo box on top for shopping bags. Aside from the make, the main difference between these and the Hong Kong fleet: you won’t get a trip to the airport. These vehicles are intended strictly for joy rides.

The old Gotham is an orphan no more.

My New Book “Hotel Mavens Volume 3:

Bob and Larry Tisch, Curt Strand, Ralph Hitz, Cesar Ritz, Raymond Orteig” has just been published.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)
  • Great American Hotel Architects Volume I (2019)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.119

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsInstagram post 2058154807688072771_13352013661Instagram post 2058153280751644258_13352013661Instagram post 2058151435568305235_13352013661Instagram post 2058149313074296809_13352013661Instagram post 2058148571504693314_13352013661Follow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mepeninsula hotelstan turkelstanley turkel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 225: Hotel History: The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, AlabamaNobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: The Red Lion InnNobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, Michigan

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 225: Hotel History: The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 225: Hotel History: The Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama

Stanley Turkel | January 14, 2020

Hotel History: Grand Hotel, Point Clear, Alabama (306 Rooms)

The site on which The Grand Hotel sits today has seen two earlier hotels so named and the area surrounding the hotel and grounds has had a long and exciting history. It begins in 1847, when a Mr. Chamberlain built a rambling, 100-foot long, two-story hotel with lumber brought down from Mobile by sailboats. There were forty guest rooms and a shaded front gallery with outside stairs at each end. The dining room was located in an adjacent structure, and a third two-story building, called The Texas, housed the bar. Destroyed in an 1893 hurricane, the bar was rebuilt and, according to one contemporary report, “It was the gathering place for the merchants of the South, and poker games with high stakes, and billiards enlivened with the best of liquors were their pastimes.” A fourth building, a two-story frame mansion called Gunnison House, was originally a private summer residence. It became a popular meeting place before the Civil War.

As one of the remaining Confederate strongholds during the Civil War, the port in Mobile was a popular spot for blockade runners. During the 1864 battle between the Confederates and Union, led by Admiral David Farragut- in which he famously proclaimed “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”- the confederates bombarded the Union soldiers with torpedoes, eventually sinking the Tecumseh. A large hole was found in the wall of the Gunnison House, located on the site of the Convention Center today. The city of Mobile remained in Confederate hands until 1865 while the hotel was turned into a base hospital for Confederate soldiers. Farragut was a Southern Unionist who strongly opposed Southern secession and remained loyal to the Union after the outbreak of the Civil War.

300 Confederate soldiers died while at the hospital and are buried in the on-site cemetery, Confederate Rest. The soldiers were buried shoulder-to-shoulder, in mass graves. In 1869, a fire destroyed the documents that identified the deceased and a monument to the unknown soldiers was later constructed at the cemetery, which still stands today.

The hotel reopened after the war, but was almost destroyed by a fire in1869. Miraculously, none of the 150 guests was injured, and all their personal effects, as well as the hotel linens and most of the furniture, were saved.

Repairs were made and the hotel was soon again enjoying a prosperous existence. But then, in August 1871, tragedy struck. The twenty-seven-ton steamer Ocean Wave exploded at the Point Clear pier and scores of hotel guests died. For years afterward, sections of the wrecked steamer could be spotted during low tide.

After the explosion, Captain H. C. Baldwin of Mobile acquired the property, and built a new hotel that resembled the earlier 100-foot-long structure, but was three times longer. Baldwin’s son-in-law, George Johnson, Louisiana State Treasurer, took an active role in the business and became the owner upon Baldwin’s death. This two-story facility of sixty suites was opened in 1875. Steamers stopped at Point Clear three times a week bringing hotel guests. By 1889, boats arrived daily. The winter rates were two dollars a day, ten dollars weekly, and forty dollars by the month. The resort flourished.

In the 1890s, Point Clear was the center of the most brilliant social life in the Deep South. Boats crowded with pleasure-seekers from Mobile and New Orleans docked at the pier; carriages and tandem bikes dashed in and out of the drive; blaring bands and picnickers flocked to the broad lawns. The Grand Hotel was known as “The Queen of Southern Resorts.”

By 1939, however, the place was so badly rundown that its new owners, the Waterman Steamship Company, had it razed and, in 1940, built Grand Hotel III. This was a modern air-conditioned building with ninety rooms; it spread long and low, with giant picture windows and glassed-in porches. A few years later, cottages were constructed, utilizing lumber, especially the fine heart-pine flooring and framing, from the old building. During World War II, when the shipping company turned over the facilities to the United States government for $1 million, it was with the stipulation that the soldiers were not to wear shoes indoors lest they damage the pine floors.

In 1955, the hotel was acquired by McLean Industries, and ten years later J. K. McLean himself bought it and formed the present Grand Hotel Company. A new fifty-room addition was built and extensive improvements were made.

In 1967, a second 9-hole golf course and the first conference center were added. In 1979, the hotel closed as a result of Hurricane Frederick and after repairs reopened on April 10, 1980. In 1981, the Marriott Corporation bought The Grand Hotel and added the North Bay House and the Marina Building, bringing total guest rooms to 306. In 1986, the old Gunnison House was torn down to make way for The Grand Ballroom. Marriott added an additional 9-hole golf course for a total of 36 holes. Major renovations to the hotel were completed in 2003, including a new spa, pool and additional guest rooms. Renovation of the Dogwood course was completed in 2004. The renovation of the Azalea course was completed in 2005.

An expansion of the Grand’s grounds and new real estate opportunities were announced in 2006. The Colony Club at the Grand Hotel opened in spring 2008 and featured condominiums overlooking picturesque Point Clear and Mobile Bay. A new aquatics facility and a tennis center opened at the resort in July 2009.

Daily patriotic military salute and cannon firing started in 2008. The hotel continues to honor the military influence. Each day a processional begins at the lobby, weaves around the grounds, and concludes with the firing of a cannon at 4:00 PM. The Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, is a member of the Historic Hotels Autograph Collection of America and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.118

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsInstagram post 2058154807688072771_13352013661Instagram post 2058153280751644258_13352013661Instagram post 2058151435568305235_13352013661Instagram post 2058149313074296809_13352013661Instagram post 2058148571504693314_13352013661Follow on Instagram

Tags

grand hotelhotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe grand hotel

RELATED NEWS:

Starwood Capital Group Plans Summer 2020 Opening of The Grand Hotel in Birmingham, UKNobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: The Red Lion InnNobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkDavidson Hotels & Resorts Adds Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island to Management PortfolioNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: Red Lion Inn

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 224: Hotel History: The Red Lion Inn

Stanley Turkel | December 23, 2019

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: The Red Lion Inn (108 Rooms)

For more than 246 years, the Red Lion Inn has been welcoming visitors to the Berkshires with traditional New England hospitality. Sometime in 1773, Anna and Silas Bingham opened a general store which became a stagecoach stop, tavern and the Stockbridge House. In 1786, Daniel Shays led a group of more than 100 local farmers and citizens to protest post-war taxation. Stockbridge was the headquarters for “Shays Rebellion.”

In 1807, Anna Bingham sold the eight-room inn to store owner Silas Pepoon. Over time, the Inn changed hands many times and in 1862 Charles and Mert Plumb began a ninety-year family ownership dynasty. The arrival of the Housatonic Railroad in 1842 and its extension to Pittsfield in 1850 made Stockbridge more accessible and attractive to wealthy families who built grand “cottages”. In 1884, the Inn was enlarged to accommodate 100 guests and the quality of food and amenities improved. Under Mert Plumb’s direction the Inn was renamed “Plumb’s Hotel” and became a museum-like repository of antique furniture, crockery, pewter and teapots.

In 1896, a fire nearly destroyed the property but the Berkshire Courier in Great Barrington reported that “Mrs. Plumb’s noted collection of colonial china, pictures, wearing apparel and furniture, the largest of its kind in the country, and to the delight of everyone who went to Stockbridge, was saved.” Mr. Plumb’s nephew, Allen T. Treadway (aided by his assistant James H. Punderson, whose daughter Molly later became the third wife of famed illustrator Norman Rockwell) undertook the restoration and in May 1897, the Red Lion was opened, more attractive than ever.

From the Red Lion Inn’s inception until it was leveled by fire in 1896, its crest was a red lion waving a green tail. It is believed that while the red lion was symbolic of the Crown, the green tail indicated sympathy for the colonists during the Revolutionary War. At its rebirth in 1897, Mr. Treadway unveiled a new crest in the form of a shield. At the top were a lion and two dates: 1773 and 1897, indicating the birth and rebirth of the Inn. Within the body of the shield were a teapot, plate, Franklin stove, highboy, clock and two large keys representing the Inn’s fine collection of antiques. In the early 1920s, the shield was replaced by the traditional lion that we see today, plump and well-fed sporting the familiar red tail.

In November 1968, the Inn was nearly demolished for construction of a gasoline station. It was rescued by John and Jane Fitzpatrick, the founders of Country Curtains, a mail order business. The Fitzpatricks were so intrigued by the Inn’s history that they installed a large new kitchen and dining room called Widow Bingham’s tavern. On May 29, 1969, the Inn was opened for year-round business for the first time. In 1974, several nearby buildings, including the former village firehouse, were purchased to be used as guesthouses. Mr. Fitzpattrick served four terms as Massachusetts state senator from 1972-1980 and once again the Red Lion Inn became the center of political activity in Berkshire County.

A charter member of Historic Hotels of America since 1989, The Red Lion Inn has been providing food and lodging to guests for more than two centuries. The Red Lion is recommended by National Geographic TravelerThe New York Times, and The Boston Globe. It offers 108 antique-filled rooms and suites, formal and casual dining with an emphasis on contemporary regional specialties, and the Lion’s Den pub with nightly entertainment, a year-round heated outdoor pool and hot tub (with radiant-heated patio).

The inn has hosted six presidents and numerous other notable figures including Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Cullen Bryant and Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. The Red Lion’s quintessential New England charm was immortalized by Norman Rockwell in his painting Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.90

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Website: (www.stanleyturkel.com)

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe red collection

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 223: Hotel History: The Wales Hotel (1902)

Stanley Turkel | December 03, 2019

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: The Wales Hotel

One of the most charming historic hotels in New York, the Wales Hotel is closing its doors in 2020. It opened in 1902 as the 92-room Hotel Chastaignery on 92nd Street and Madison Avenue in the neighborhood called Carnegie Hill. After four name changes over one hundred years it became the Hotel Wales in 2000. Its earlier names after Chastaignery were Hotel Bibo, Hotel Bon Ray, the Carnegie Hill Hotel and the Wales Hotel.

An original 1902 hotel brochure described the opening of the Hotel Chastaignery as follows:

A new fireproof family hotel and public restaurant just opened by Mr. Charles Jaimes of the Brevoort House. Situated at Madison Avenue and Ninety-second Street, it is undoubtedly destined to prove a brilliant and permanent success.

The Chastaignery is a new and splendid building situated at the highest altitude and in the heart of the wealthy residential centre of the city. It is a nine-story structure, fronting 100 feet on Madison Avenue and 63 feet on Ninety-second Street.

Mr. James has created this establishment at an enormous cost, and in doing so he has benefited the entire neighborhood. It gives to New Yorkers or to visitors from other cities, a splendid resort in a magnificent neighborhood, which does away with the necessity for a journey down town.

That Mr. Jaimes will make a brilliant and permanent success of his new departure may be regarded as a foregone conclusion. No man stands higher as a hotel keeper, or is more widely known or more universally respected, and none has a greater body of friends. A native of France, Mr. Jaimes was for many years with the Grand Hotel of Paris. Then he was a long time with Delmonico and for the last seven years or so he has been proprietor of the Brevoort.

The Carnegie Hill neighborhood encompasses roughly the area from 86th Street to 96th Street between Central Park and Lexington Avenue. It contains the former Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Sloan mansions on Fifth Avenue. More than a half dozen major museums including the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, Cooper-Hewitt and Jewish Museum are in close proximity to galleries, haute couture designers, chic boutiques and up-scale restaurants.

In the early years of the twentieth century, the Hotel Chastaignery was renamed the Hotel Bon Ray by its new proprietor, Morris Newgold. The hotel published the following well-written brochure:

Madison Avenue at Ninety-second street is on the topmost rise of the highest hill in New York’s centre, and nearly every apartment in the Bon Ray overlooks Central Park and obtains an extended vista over the reservoir, a large lake and the trees. Walks extending in all directions within this enchanting spot. An ideal playground for children, furnishing beautiful and invigorating walking grounds for older folks. No more healthful location can be found in this greatest of cities.

While the hotel appeals to the many families in the great Southland who visit New York, especially in summer, when they wish to escape the heat and turmoil of a great throbbing city with all its noises, yet the main support it receives is from those who live all the year round in the city and engage in business, those who want a quiet, restful retreat at night when they get home to spend the time with their families. It is to this class of patrons that the Bon Ray offers apartments on long leases, either furnished or unfurnished, at such rates as to provide a home at reasonable cost. Only by inspection can one arrive at a knowledge of what we have to offer, and those who investigate receive the same courtesy, should they not become tenants, as those who do.

Dining-Room.

The owner of the Bon Ray, by careful attention to the quality of the food, its preparation, service to the table and rooms, has established a high standard of excellence, and furnishes American plan board that will satisfy the connoisseur.

Construction.

The Hotel Bon Ray is of steel construction and absolutely fireproof, with fire escapes connecting with every suite, fire tanks on the roof connected with separate stand pipes, and long lines of fire hose, in perfect order, on every floor.

There are long distance telephones in each apartment.

The rooms are light and airy, the parlors fitted with parquet floors, and the decorations the best that good taste can devise. The toilet appointments are complete and superb.

The bathrooms are finished entirely in white Italian marble.

Ball Room and Mezzanine Floor.

An exquisite Ball Room with a perfect floor and ventilating system, Banquet Room and Special Kitchen, together with Ladies Parlor and Gentlemen’s Smoking Room. Medium sized rooms for private dinner are located on the Mezzanine Floor, which is used for weddings, receptions, announcements, dancing, card parties, etc. Special prices and terms are made for any of these events upon request. The tableware, candelabra, napiery and silverware of rare beauty and in good taste. Frequent dances are given by the Bon Ray during the season, which are free to the guests and their friends.

A Parting Word.

To those who are dissatisfied with their present living quarters, and to those who are about to establish a new home, this booklet is addressed. It is hard for some people to find satisfactory homes even among the abundance to be had in New York. This is partly due to the fact that apartment houses do not, as a rule, contain all the advantages wished for, and there are often important features lacking. The Hotel Bon Ray combines about every advantage in its arrangements that is possible to obtain, and those interested in the task of finding a new home are cordially invited to call and inspect for themselves.

In recent years the strip of territory next to the easterly wall of the city’s greatest park has been recognized as the choicest residential section of America. The Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Sloan group of mansions (one block from the hotel), occupy the choicest positions with reference to the Park and aid in furnishing the beautiful view obtained from the hotel windows.

Come and see for yourself. Out-of- town patrons should have in mind that they can secure apartments of several rooms and bath at a price no greater than they would pay at some other hotels for a single room and bath. To those in Europe, South America or Cuba, especially we urge that they write and get our rates.

The Hotel Wales is scheduled to close in January 2020. The real estate firm Adelloo LLC bought the Wales for $56.25 million and is promoting what it calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience classic New York City” with a Hotel Wales Curtain Call Package that includes a 20% off regular rates on stays two nights or more from June 23 until closing in January 2020. The building will be converted to luxury condos after that.

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.122

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe wales hotel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New YorkNobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New York

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 222: Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New York

Stanley Turkel | November 13, 2019

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: YMCA of Greater New York

Do you know that there is a 167-year old organization located in New York City which owns and operates more than 1,200 hotel rooms in five separate locations in three boroughs? Some of its facilities are housed in landmark buildings and contain world-class athletic and fitness centers that surpass all private competitive facilities.

It’s the YMCA of Greater New York which traces its roots to 1852 and has evolved as a flexible organization serving people of both genders, all ages, races, and religious beliefs. Its history is one of responding energetically and consistently to the times and the changing needs of its constituents and communities.

From its initial evangelical Christian orientation, the YMCA has grown to be a secular, values-oriented organization with a special focus on positive development in city youth. Historically it has served the urban poor as well as the middle class with programs ranging from educational courses and employment bureaus to gymnasiums and resident accommodations. Some people interpret “YMCA” to mean that YMCAs are only for “young Christian men.” Not true. Despite its name, the YMCA is not just for the young, not just for men and not just for Christians. All ages, all religions, all genders are welcome at the YMCA.

There are currently five YMCA properties in the New York area providing accommodations for transient guests. These YMCA’s house both male and female guests who are interested in finding safe, clean, affordable and centrally located guest room facilities, fitness centers and restaurants.

Guest rooms at the YMCA are singles and twin rooms (bunk beds) with shared bathroom facilities located down the corridors. There are a limited number of premium rooms with double beds and rooms with private baths at an additional cost.

Amenities at all the YMCA’s include daily housekeeping service, free group fitness classes, cardio strength training, basketball court/gymnasium, sauna, teen programs, youth sports, swim lessons, electronic door locks, guest laundry, luggage storage and restaurant.

West Side YMCA – 480 Rooms

The world’s largest YMCA opened to the public on Monday, March 31, 1930. It was designed by Architect Dwight James Baum who designed 140 houses in the Riverdale area from 1914 to 1939.

The West Side Y has two swimming pools: the Pompeiian pool (75’ x 25’) with glazed Italian tiles. The slightly smaller Spanish pool (60’ x 20’) is surfaced with Andalusian tiles of rich cobalt blue flecked with yellow, a gift from the Spanish government. The Y has three gymnasiums, one with a running track above; five handball/racquetball/ squash courts, two group exercise studios, 2,400 sq. ft. free weight room, boxing room with both heavy and speed bags, stretching and martial arts rooms, mediation studio for yoga and mediation classes. The building also houses the jewel-box Little Theater, where one-time resident Tennessee William’s play “Summer and Smoke” was presented in 1952.

Any number of famous people have stayed at the West Side Y while establishing their careers; among them Fred Allen, John Barrrymore, Montgomery Clift, Kirk Douglas, Eddie Duchin, Lee J. Cobb, Douglas Fairbanks, Dave Garroway, Bob Hope, Elia Kazan, Norman Rockwell, Robert Penn Warren and Johnny Weismuller.

A recent renovation to the bathrooms reflects an important amenity improvement that will be installed on the remainder of the West Side Y’s floors and ultimately to the other New York City YMCA’s. The shared bathroom facilities have been converted to private bathrooms, each with a stall shower, toilet, wash basin, good lighting, mirror, electrical outlet, hooks and new colorful tile from floor to ceiling. These locked private bathrooms are accessible only with the guests’ electronic room key card. These bathrooms are better than country club standard.

Vanderbilt YMCA – 367 Rooms

Located on Manhattan’s fashionable East Side, the Vanderbilt Y building has a classic design matching that of its neighbors, which include the United Nations and Grand Central Station. Over the doorway of the Vanderbilt Y these words are etched into the stone: “Railroad Branch Young Mens Christian Association”. It was initiated under Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s leadership in 1875 when the YMCA’s had grown enormously, spreading from Manhattan and the Bronx to Brooklyn and Queens.

The new Railroad YMCA opened in 1932 at a cost of $1.5 million at 224 East 47th Street between Second and Third Avenues. In 1972 its name was changed to honor Cornelius Vanderbilt. The building has 367 guest rooms, a full-sized gymnasium, a modern four-lane indoor swimming pool with a one-meter diving board. There are shower rooms for men and women; weight training and exercise rooms; and massage, sunlamp and sauna departments.

The Vanderbilt’s spacious, air conditioned restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday through Friday. The facility seats 122 persons and serves more than 250,000 meals per year.

Harlem YMCA – 226 Rooms

The 135th Street YMCA traces its roots to the summer of 1900 which was marked by racial disturbances in the still predominantly white Harlem and Manhattan’s Tenderloin district over the growing inequality of black citizens. Earlier a “colored” YMCA operated at 132 W. 53rd Street in the heart of San Juan Hill, an African American residential area where fashionable clubs fueled artistic life and gave the district its reputation as a “black Bohemia”. Between 1910 and 1930, Harlem’s black population doubled creating the only large-scale, fully developed African American community in the nation.

Julius Rosenwald, a top executive of Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago, gave a total of $600,000 in challenge grants to build YMCA’s and YMCA’s for African Americans in many North American cities. One of those was the 135th Street Y which opened in 1919 at a cost of $375,000. The Branch quickly established itself as a pillar of the community in civic and social affairs and of the Harlem Renaissance that began in the 1920s. Writing in theOutlook, Booker T. Washington noted that the gifts from his friend Julius Rosenwald to the YMCA “have been a help to my race….in what they are doing to convince the white people of this country that in the long run schools are cheaper than policemen; that there is more wisdom in keeping a man out of the ditch than in trying to save him after he has fallen in; that it is more Christian and more economical to prepare young men to live right than to punish them after they have committed a crime.” By 1940, the original Harlem Y was inadequate, overcrowded and worn and needed program space for boys, a supervised dormitory and counseling facilities for the thousands of African American youth seek work in New York City. Transient “Red Caps”, Pullman porters and dining car men, who were not allowed to use the segregated Railroad YMCA’s, also needed accommodations. In 1933, a new Harlem YMCA was built on West 135th Street directly across from the existing Harlem Y. By 1938, the original Y was remodeled as the “Harlem annex” to house its boys’ department. In 1996, it was remodeled again, reopening as the Harlem YMCA Jackie Robinson Youth Center.

A cultural center unto itself, the Branch hosted and housed renowned writers such as Richard Wright, Claude McKay, Ralph Ellison, Langston Hughes; artists Jacob Lawrence and Aaron Douglas; actors Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Cicely Tyson and Paul Robeson. In years gone by, the Harlem YMCA’s 226 rooms were often occupied by African American visitors and performers to New York City who couldn’t get rooms in midtown hotels because of racial discrimination.

Flushing YMCA – 127 Rooms

Citizens in Flushing broke ground in 1924 for a YMCA Branch on Northern Boulevard near La Guardia Airport to serve residents of Bayside, Douglaston, College Point, Whitestone, Kew Gardens and other nearby communities. The building with 79 guest rooms opened in 1926. Subsequent expansion took place in the following two years with new playgrounds, athletic leagues, and summer camps. Flushing added a new wing with an Olympic-sized pool and a businessmen’s athletic club in 1967 and 1972, 48 guest rooms.

Greenpoint YMCA – 100 Rooms

The Brooklyn Association raised capital for new buildings through the 1903 Jubilee Fund, a drive that marked its 50th Anniversary. Between 1904 and 1907, the Association completed three new buildings: Eastern District in Williamsburg; Bedford between Gates and Monroe Streets; and Greenpoint. Each of these branches contained a swimming pool, running track, gymnasium, club rooms, lounges and residence guest rooms. In 1918, the Greenpoint Branch added two floors of dormitory rooms. In its early days, it was known as the workingmen’s YMCA because of its focus on the needs of employees in many nearby factories.

William Sloane Memorial YMCA-1,600 Rooms

Opened in 1930 on West Thirty-Fourth Street and Ninth Avenue, the building was built primarily to serve more than 100,000 young men seeking their fortune during the Great Depression as well as the thousands of soldiers, sailors and marines during and after World War II. Finally, in 1991, the Association closed the Sloane House and sold the building.

In 1979, the singing group, the Village People, scored their biggest all-time hit in the form of “YMCA”, a disco smash recording. The band promoted the song with a folk dance routine that features hand signals illustrating the letters of the title. This caught on at discos around the world and has since become a part of pop-culture folklore. Anytime the song is played on a dance floor, it’s a safe bet that many people will perform the dance routine with the appropriate YMCA hand signals.

Y.M.C.A

“Young man, there’s no need to feel down.

I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.

I said, young man, ‘cause you’re in a new town

There’s no need to be unhappy.

Young man, there’s a place you can go.

I said, young man, when you’re short on your dough.

You can stay there, and I’m sure you will find

Many ways to have a good time.

It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A

It’s fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A”

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.111

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.co/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelymca of greater new york

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel FlorenceNobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel Florence

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 221: Hotel History: Hotel Florence

By Stanley Turkel | October 22, 2019

By Stanley Turkel, CMHS

Hotel History: Hotel Florence

The Hotel Florence is a former operating hotel located in the Pullman Historic District on the far south side of Chicago, Illinois. In 1880, the railroad pioneer George Pullman purchased a site of 3,500 acres near Lake Calumet on the Illinois Central Railroad. With demand exploding for his sleeping railroad cars. Pullman decided to build the largest factory to produce them and a company town to house his employees and their families. Pullman believed that if he built a town without saloons and agitators, his workers would be forever loyal to the Pullman creed. Pullman City ultimately grew to 12,000 inhabitants. It had its own shopping center, a savings bank, theater, church, schools and playgrounds. It also had a library of 8,000 books and the luxurious Hotel Florence (named after Pullman’s daughter). Pullman City and the Hotel Florence were designed by architect Solon Spencer Beman (1853-1914). Several of Beman’s largest commissions including the Pullman Office Building, Pabst Building and the Grand Central Station in Chicago have since been demolished. Beman also designed many Christian Science churches. Celebrated at first for good planning Pullman City’s reputation suffered when the Pullman Palace Car Company refused to lower rents after cutting wages, starting the violent national Pullman strike.

The Hotel Florence was chiefly remarkable for the elegance and beauty of design and finish, together with its luxury in furniture, fixtures and appliances, all combined making it equal, save that of size, to the most costly hotels in any of the large cities.

The building rises to a height of four stories above the half basement, the upper lines being broken by a fanciful roof of gables and dormer windows, which makes the building resemble a fine large mansion more than it does a hotel. A veranda 16 feet wide and 268 feet long extends along the front and sides of the building which is treated in East Lake and Queen Anne designs, the ceiling being painted a light sky blue, which harmonizes perfectly with the deep red of the brick of which the walls are constructed. A short flight of steps give approach to the central portion of the veranda in front, upon which the office and rotunda opens through wide doors of polished cherry. When entering the lobby, the Tennessee marble counter surmounted at one end by a handsome cherry desk, is in full view of the entrance to the parlor and the gentlemen’s reading room. Immediately beyond the latter is the billiard room across the hall from the lunch room and saloon designed for guests of the hotel. Large open fire places welcome you upon entering the lobby, parlors and dining room.

The furniture of the parlor is made of solid mahogany and upholstered with heavy Maroon velvet plush. The dining room is immediately across the hall from the parlor and is L shaped. The original portion of the hotel had 50 sleeping rooms, a dining room, a billiard room barber shop, separate men’s and women’s parlors and the only bar in Pullman City. The building was originally lighted with gas lights and heated with steam radiators, the steam generated by the Corliss Engine located across the street in the factory buildings.

The first floor and the Pullman Suite were trimmed with cherry woodwork and accented by multicolored stained glass windows. On the second floor, the Pullman Suite was kept for George Pullman when he visited the factory and town as the Pullman family lived in the fashionable Prairie Avenue District, just south of downtown.

The second through the fourth floors housed the hotel rooms and suites. Each floor, similar to train cars, provided a different “class” of service. The more elegant and expensive rooms were located on the second floor, where they were closer to the lobby. These rooms were outfitted with Eastlake furniture and included larger suite layouts. The rooms on the third and fourth floors were smaller and furnished in different styles on each floor.

The hotel was off limits to Pullman workers. George Pullman did not want his laborers to drink and banned the sale of alcohol within town limits. An exception was made for guests of the Hotel Florence, however. A bar served whiskey and other beverages inside the hotel. The hotel restaurant specialized in pork chops which were featured on the hotel menu in 1902.

The Historic Pullman Foundation bought the Hotel Florence in 1975 to save the aging building from demolition and to renovate it. In 1991, it was sold to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as an integral part of the Pullman State Historic Site. The Hotel is open for tours and special events.

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl

Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.237

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

hotel florencehotel historynobody asked mepullman historic districtstan turkelstanley turkel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 203: Hotel History: The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (225 Rooms)Hilton Singapore Welcomes New Executive Chef Kazi HassanNobody Asked Me, But… No. 202: Hotel History: Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 201: Hotel History: Architect Morris LapidusNobody Asked Me, But… No. 200: Hotel History: Cesar Ritz and Auguste Escoffier

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman Hotel

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 220: Hotel History: The Heathman Hotel

Stanley Turkel | October 02, 2019

Hotel History: The Heathman Hotel

The original Heathman Hotel was built in 1926 one block from the current structure by George Heathman for $1 million. Because of the success of the original hotel, Heathman immediately started construction of a new 10-story concrete structure designed by the architectural firm of DeYoung and Raold. The New Heathman Hotel was designed in the Jacobean Revival style and was Portland’s largest construction project to that date. When it opened, Governor I. L. Patterson and Mayor George Luis Baker made dedication speeches while radio station KOIN featured a live band. The Oregon Journal described the Heathman Hotel as “Portland’s newest and most modern hotel. Its planning, construction and general appointments are as modern as human ingenuity and talent could possibly make it.”

Because it was located on Portland’s “Great White Way”, ablaze with theatre marquees, restaurants and shops, it became the focal point of downtown’s entertainment center.

George Heathman died at age 49, less than three years after the new Heathman Hotel was opened. His wife, Katherine and their two children remained active and retained an interest in the operations until Harry Heathman, George’s son, passed away in 1962.

By the 1950s, most of the commercial and retail establishments left downtown Portland for the suburbs. It was not until the late 1960s that city leaders sought to convince major retail stores to resume operating down town. In addition, the city created a performing arts center in the old Paramount Theatre which had originally opened as the Portland Public Theatre. It was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm of Rapp & Rapp in Italian Rococo Revival style in 1928. It was renamed the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in 1984 and redesigned by ELS Architects.

The Heathman Hotel’s public spaces were remodeled by Portland architect Carter Case and interior designer Andrew Delfino including the eucalyptus-paneled Tea Court. A 100-year-old crystal chandelier from the U.S. Embassy in Czechoslovakia was installed in the Tea Court.

On April 17, 2019, Conde Nast’s Traveler featured the Heathman Hotel as the hotel of the week:

Built in 1927, this much-loved Portland landmark, elevated to international stardom by its cameo in the steamy 2011 bestseller 50 Shades of Grey, got a fashionable facelift earlier this year, and those used to its old-money library will either love or hate the 10-story historic hotel’s bright and stylish refresh. What hasn’t changed are the opulently costumed doormen, prime downtown location (next door to the popular Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall), and robust Russian-themed afternoon tea in the luxe downstairs tea court. After a day of shopping, museum-hopping, or hiking in nearby Washington Park, pluck a good book off the lobby library shelf, secure a spot on the blue velvet sofa by the fireplace, and order a dozen oysters and a bottle of Sancerre from James Beard Award—winning chef Vitaly Paley’s onsite restaurant, Headwaters.

Sounds lovely. Who’s staying here?
Weekend wanderers, wedding parties, honeymooners, and 50 Shades of Grey superfans.

Tells us everything about the rooms.
The 151 guest rooms are beautifully redone in white, gray and sea blues, with bright white wooden wall panels at the head of each bed, elegant bar carts, plump cozy chaises, pretty blue-and-white patterned throws, and locally produced Water Avenue Coffee and Steven Smith teas. If you want space to spread out, book a Corner King Room; it’s nearly 500 square feet, with a leather lounger in the sitting area and plenty of natural light.

Any stand-out features or services?
The all-local honor bar sports wee bottles of Burnside Bourbon, fig vinegar sourced from Red Ridge Farms in the Willamette Valley, and Sourdough and Olive Oil bars by Portland chef turned chocolatier David Briggs of Xocolatl de Davíd. Feel like a pint of Salt & Straw’s Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons in bed while you catch up onThe Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Whether it’s 9 p.m. or 9a.m., room service will deliver it with a spoon—and a smile.

What’s the deal with food and drink?
Upon check-in, choose a pint of Oregon craft beer or glass of wine, and mark your calendar for 5 p.m. when the hotel hosts a complimentary spirits hour featuring a craft cocktail of the day. Headwaters, James Beard Award—winning chef Vitaly Paley’s seafood restaurant, serves three solid meals a day, but you’re in the center of one of the most exciting food cities in the country, so get out and about.

Any thoughts about the hotel’s facilities?
You’ll be eating well and often during your Portland stay, so best take advantage of the hotel’s small but mighty gym, with its mini rock-climbing wall, punching bag, and live-streaming Peloton bikes. If leaving the room isn’t part of your workout, order a Well-Fit Kit, equipped with a Manduka yoga mat, barrel bands, weights and core ball, and workout-video loaded iPad. The hotel also has discounted and complimentary passes to local fitness studios; just stop by the front desk.

What’s the bottom line?
The Heathman is a fresh-faced piece of authentic Portland history with the perfect downtown location, lots of local amenities, and the library of your dreams.

The Heathman Hotel has been a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation since 1991. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.103

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Contact: Stanley Turkel

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

hotel historynobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkelthe heathman hotel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years AgoStolen Coffee Pot Wins New Orleans Local $15,000 Roosevelt Hotel StayNobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles LindberghNobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 203: Hotel History: The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (225 Rooms)Hilton Singapore Welcomes New Executive Chef Kazi HassanNobody Asked Me, But… No. 202: Hotel History: Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 201: Hotel History: Architect Morris LapidusNobody Asked Me, But… No. 200: Hotel History: Cesar Ritz and Auguste EscoffierNobody Asked Me, But… No. 199: Hotel History: Fanciful Prediction, Definition of “Turnpike”, The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality, Hokusai, the Great Japanese Printmaker

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years Ago

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 219: Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years Ago

Stanley Turkel | September 11, 2019

Hotel History: Josh Billings on Hotels One Hundred and Forty-Eight Years Ago

Josh Billings was the pen name of the 19th century American humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885). He was a famous humor writer and lecturer in the United States during the latter half of the 19th century. He is often compared to Mark Twain.

Shaw was born in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. His father, Henry Shaw, served in the United States House of Representatives from 1817 and his grandfather, Samuel Shaw, also served in the Congress from 1808-1813.

Shaw attended Hamilton College but was expelled in his second year for removing the clapper of the campus bell. Shaw worked as a coal miner, farmer and auctioneer before becoming a journalist in 1858. Under the pseudonym “Josh Billings”, he wrote humorous columns in the slang of the day often with eccentric phonetic spellings dispensing folksy wit and humor:

Josh Billings on Hotels

New Albany Weekly Ledger, New Albany, Indiana

March 22, 1871:

“I don’t know of any business more flattersome than the tavern business. There don’t seem to be anything to do but to stand in front of the register with a pen behind the ear, and see that the guests enter the house, then tell John to show the gentleman to 976, and then take four dollars and fifty cents next morning from the devil of traveller, and let him went.

This seem to be the whole thing (and it is the whole thing) in most cases.

You will discover the following description a mild one of about nine hotels out of ten between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, across the United States in a straight line.

Your room is 13 foot 5 inches, by 9 foot 7 inches, parallelogramly. It being court week (as usual), all the good rooms are employed by the lawyers and judges.

Your room is on the uttermost floor.

The carpet is ingrain – ingrained with the dust, kerosene oil, and ink spots of four generations.

There is two pegs in the room to hitch coats onto; one of them broke off, and the other pulled out and missing.

The bureau has three legs and one brick.

The glass on the bureau swings on two pivots, which have lost their grip.

There is one towel on the rack, thin but wet.

The rain water in the pitcher came out of the well.

The soap is as tough to wear as a whetstone. The soap is scented with cinnamon oil and variegated with spots.

There is three chairs, cane setters; one is a rocker, and all three is busted.

There is a match safe – empty.

There is no curtain to the window, and there don’t want to be any; you can’t see out, and who can see in?

The bell-rope is come off about six inches this side of the ceiling.

The bed is a modern slat-bottom, with two mattresses – one cotton and one husk, and both harder and about as thick as a sea biscuit.

You enter the beds sideways, and can feel every slat at once as is you could the ribs of a gridiron.

The bed is inhabited.

You sleep some, but roll over a good deal.

For breakfast you have a gong, and Rio coffee too cold to melt butter; fried potatoes, which resemble chips that a two-inch auger makes in its journey through an oak log.

Bread, solid; beefsteak, about as thick as a blister plaster, and as tough as a hound’s ear. Table covered with plates, a few scared to death pickles on one of them, and six fly-indorsed crackers on the other.

A pewterinkum castor with three bottles in it, one without any pepper in it, one without any mustard, and one with two inches of drowned flies and some vinegar in it.

Servant girl, with hoops on, hangs around you earnestly, and wants to know it you want another cup of coffee.

You say, “No, ma’am, I thank you,” and push back your chair. You haven’t eat enough to pay for picking your teeth.”

My New Book, “Great American Hotel Architects” is Available

My eighth hotel history book features twelve architects who designed 94 hotels from 1878 to 1948: Warren & Wetmore, Henry J. Hardenbergh, Schultze & Weaver, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, Bruce Price, Mulliken & Moeller, McKim, Mead & White, Carrere & Hastings, Julia Morgan, Emery Roth, Trowbridge & Livingston, George B. Post and Sons.

You can order copies from the publisher AuthorHouse by posting “Great American Hotel Architects” by Stanley Turkel.

My Other Published Hotel Books

  • Great American Hoteliers: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2009)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York (2011)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (2013)
  • Hotel Mavens: Lucius M. Boomer, George C. Boldt, Oscar of the Waldorf (2014)
  • Great American Hoteliers Volume 2: Pioneers of the Hotel Industry (2016)
  • Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels West of the Mississippi (2017)
  • Hotel Mavens Volume 2: Henry Morrison Flagler, Henry Bradley Plant, Carl Graham Fisher (2018)

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

If You Need an Expert Witness:

For the past twenty-seven years, I have served as an expert witness in more than 42 hotel-related cases. My extensive hotel operating experience is beneficial in cases involving:

  • slip and fall accidents
  • wrongful deaths
  • fire and carbon monoxide injuries
  • hotel security issues
  • dram shop requirements
  • hurricane damage and/or business interruption cases

Feel free to call me at no charge on 917-628-8549 to discuss any hotel-related expert witness assignment.Download Nulled WordPress ThemesDownload Best WordPress Themes Free DownloadDownload WordPress ThemesDownload Premium WordPress Themes Freefree download udemy paid course69

ABOUT STANLEY TURKEL

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015 Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is the most widely-published hotel consultant in the United States. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

stanturkel@aol.com/917-628-8549

Categories

Instagram

hotelonlinenewsFollow on Instagram

Tags

henry wheeler shawhotel historyjosh billingsnobody asked mestan turkelstanley turkel

RELATED NEWS:

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 218; Hotel History: Raymond Orteig and Charles Lindbergh

Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 217, Hotel History: Catskill Mountain Resort HotelsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 216: Hotel History: Ellsworth M. StatlerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 215: Hotel History: The TWA HotelNobody Asked Me, But… No. 214: Hotel History: Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo, EgyptNobody Asked Me, But… No. 213: Hotel History: Sheraton’s Classic Advertising CampaignsNobody Asked Me, But… No. 212: Hotel History: Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California (1888)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 211: Hotel History: Asian American Hotel Owners Association*Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 210: Hotel History: John Q. Hammons (1919-2013)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 209: Hotel History: The Americana of New York (1962)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 208: Hotel History: Grand Hotel (1887) Mackinac Island, MichiganNobody Asked Me, But… No. 207: Hotel History in Brooklyn, N.Y.:  Hotel Bossert (1909) and St. George Hotel (1885)Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 203: Hotel History: The Skirvin Hotel, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (225 Rooms)Hilton Singapore Welcomes New Executive Chef Kazi HassanNobody Asked Me, But… No. 202: Hotel History: Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C.Nobody Asked Me, But… No. 201: Hotel History: Architect Morris LapidusNobody Asked Me, But… No. 200: Hotel History: Cesar Ritz and Auguste EscoffierNobody Asked Me, But… No. 199: Hotel History: Fanciful Prediction, Definition of “Turnpike”, The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality, Hokusai, the Great Japanese PrintmakerNobody Asked Me, But… No. 198: Hotel History: Jefferson Hotel, U.S. Grant Hotel, The Montauk Manor and The Jung Hotel