Luxe Lodgings


Murray Hill Hotel. Photo: Berenice Abbott, 1935.

NOVEMBER 19, 1935

Built in 1884, the 600-room Murray Hill Hotel (112 Park Avenue at East 40th Street) offered its guests the ultimate in modern convenience, including a steam elevator and electric lights on the first two floors. Its superb location near the homes of many of the city’s most prominent citizens and the central railroad depot added to its success. During its glory years, the hotel counted among its habitues Mark Twain, Grover Cleveland, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan, who walked from his nearby home to drink coffee and smoke cigars in the lobby.

In 1910, Benjamin Bates, a former night clerk, purchased the hotel, refused repeatedly to sell it, and, except for updating the plumbing, resisted modernization. By Abbott’s (Berenice Abbott, photographer) day, the “Old Lady” stood as an eloquent reminder of a bygone era; its food, according to Abbott, remained excellent.


Murray Hill Hotel Spire. Photo: Berenice Abbott, 1935.




~ by eaesthete on 04/07/09.

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