The UWS has a rich architectural history, and among the many stunning prewar buildings are some which were originally designed as hotels. Below, we’ve listed some of the more noteworthy in this category.
2109 Broadway, between 73rd and 74th Streets
Let’s start the list with the famous Ansonia, a building that has been home to many famous New Yorkers. William Earle Dodge Stokes commissioned Paul E. Duboy to build the Ansonia Hotel in 1899. Guests would stay in luxurious apartments, some of which included parlors, libraries, and formal dining rooms.
Perhaps the most outrageous feature of this former hotel was the lobby fountain which housed LIVE SEALS. Today, the Ansonia is a full-service condominium with a fair amount of trading. Floor plans range from studios which were former maids rooms, to massive four bedrooms and beyond.
Read More: EARLY 1980S STORIES OF THE ANSONIA
2350 Broadway, between 85th and 86th Streets
Now a residential rental building, architect Harry B. Mulliken completed Hotel Bretton Hall in 1903, and upon opening it billed itself as the largest hotel uptown.
Mulliken designed a number of other hotels, including Spencer Arms at 140 West 69th Street (now a co-op) and the Severn at 170 West 73rd Street (now a rental). He was also the architect behind the Lucerne Hotel at 201 West 79th Street.
“In the early 1980s, an organization called Artists Assistance Services rented apartments in the Bretton Hall at lower prices to people in the arts. A proviso was that they would have to share their spaces with a ‘cultural activity’, such as a karate class,” according to a 1985 New York Magazine article titled “The Broadway Blues”.
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225 Central Park West, between 82nd and 83rd Streets
Renowned architect Emery Roth constructed this historic building as Hotel Alden in 1926. In our interview with Roth’s great-granddaughter, Robyn Roth-Moise, we learned that the iconic architect lived in the building himself, and that there was a popular restaurant in the building’s lobby. The sixteen story building converted to co-op in 1984.
The Park Royal
23 West 73rd Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
Architect George F. Pelham built the Park Royal in 1926. According to the building’s website, “The Park Royal was a new concept in New York living in the 1920s, the apartment hotel. It was intended to be home to those who did not wish the travails of maintaining a private residence. The Park Royal would offer all the conveniences of a hotel along with individuality for each resident to create a unique home. Only permanent residents were accepted.” The building was converted to co-op in 1985, and today is known most for its beautiful lobby.
100 West 80th Street at Columbus Avenue
This gorgeous 1898 building was designed as a 140-room hotel by Buchman & Deisler, whose Upper West Side resumes – according to Landmark West! – included three contiguous townhouses (215, 217 and 219 West 71st Streets) and a townhouse at 20 West 70th Street, all of which were built between 1891 and 1892. While these are charming and attractive buildings, none could compare to the grandeur of their 80th Street project which would rise 6-7 years later. In 2014, The Orleans was converted into a condominium with four and five-bedroom half-floor apartments.