Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Broadway Central Hotel

Here it is - the only medium-priced hotel on Broadway. Only $1.00 per night for the European Plan and $2.50 per night for the American Plan. What's the difference? Well, the European Plan includes accommodations only, and the American Plan includes three meals per day. I'll take the European Plan, thank you. It's hard to imagine having enough time to explore the city if you always have to be back at the hotel for lunch and dinner.

This hotel, located at 673 Broadway, was originally known as the Grand Central Hotel. With 630 rooms, it was considered huge at the time. The Broadway Central, designed by Henry Engelbert, was opened in 1870.  An enormous sum was spent on luxurious furniture, carpets, and furnishings.

Over the years, the flavor of the hotel changed. In the 1950s, Bill Haley and the Comets played there nightly, and by the 1970s it had become a welfare hotel, charging $5 per night. By then, the building, plagued with rats, prostitutes, and garbage, was considered a public nuisance.  Illegal alterations probably led to the 1973 collapse of the hotel, which killed four residents. Check out Tom Miller's blog for more information on the history of the hotel.

Sadly, this postcard was never sent. I love reading the messages on these old cards, especially if they say what they did during the day and mark the window of the room they stayed in. No such luck this time.


  1. Ill-fated building...I don't know about the prostitutes, but I bet the rats had at least three meals a day.

  2. It looks a grand place in its day!

  3. I don't know how they could make a profit on a dollar a day. I guess there were a lot of rooms and workers must have made a lot less per day.

  4. What a grand looking place. Oh to have been there when it was new.

  5. a magnificent building in it's time!

  6. wow, had no idea this had collapsed! Bway and Third, hmm. That area has changed so much, I can't think of what must be there now.

    The Martinique Hotel near Herald Square also deteriorated in the 1970s, but it was rescued and now is a mid-budget tourist hotel.



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