The Ansonia in 1909

The Ansonia

Babe Ruth

Arturo Toscanini

Enrico Caruso

2107-2109 Broadway (73th St.)

Built in 1903 by the eccentric music and animal lover William Earl Dodge Stokes, was New York’s first air-conditioned hotel. It was equipped with luxuries such as electric stoves, hot and cold water, freezers, and an early form of central air-conditioning. It also has very thick walls, installed to protect against fire, but this made the Ansonia Apartments the most soundproof in the city. Because of this, many of it's famous tenants were musicians including Enrico Caruso, Igor Stravinsky, Arturo Toscanini, Ezio Pinza, Lily Pons, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gustave Mahler, and Yehudi Menuhin. Theatrical notables include Sol Hurok, Florenz Ziegfeld, Sarah Bernhardt, Bille Burke, Moss Hart, Tony Curtis and Paul Sorvino; sports legends Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey lived here and writers Elmer Rice, W.L. Stodard and Theodore Dreiser.

The Ansonia was Babe Ruth's first home in New York after the owner of the Boston Red Sox "sold" him to the Yankees. Living the life of a bachelor, Babe Ruth sowed his wild oats at The Ansonia, then New York's most elegant residential hotel. Legend has it that he chased women up and down the halls and had one employee dedicated to sorting his fan mail--"Keep the dough and the pictures of the broads, and throw the rest out," were his reputed instructions.

The building originally contained 340 suites with over 1400 rooms altogether (which have since been subdivided for more apartments), as well as ballrooms, tea rooms, writing rooms, a lobby fountain with live seals, and the world’s largest indoor pool (circa 1904) in the basement. Stokes also kept a private farm on the roof with live chickens, ducks, goats and a small bear.

The entrance gate today

The Apthorp in 1906
The Apthorp
2207 Broadway (Full block between 78th & 79th Streets, Broadway and West End Avenue)

The Apthorp is one of the rare New York City apartment buildings to occupy an entire city block. The Renaissance Revival building designed by architects Clinton & Russell, was built between 1906 and 1908. The building is built around a huge interior courtyard. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Apthorp is  divided into four buildings, A through D placed around the courtyard, with a circular, cobblestone driveway. The West End Avenue gate is permanently closed. Tenants have included Al Pacino, Conan O'Brien, Cyndi Lauper, Rosie O'Donnell, and 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft, Nora Ephron, Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, Lena Horne, Kate Nelligan.

In 2008 the building, which had been rental, became a condominium. The conversion has been troubled, with feuding co-owners, and the threat of foreclosure. The apartments are insanely expensive. Recently the prices were cut by a third but the building remains largely empty. What a shame.


SOURCES: Wikipedia and NEW YORK:The Movie Lovers Guide by Richard Alleman

The Melrose Hotel—
Formerly The Barbizon Hotel
for women

The Barbizon
Hotel for Women

Grace Kelly
140 East 63rd Street

Built in 1927, The Barbizon was symbolic of the cultural change as women began to come to New York City for professional opportunities, but still wanted a "safe retreat" that felt like the family home.

For most of its existence, no men were allowed above the ground floor and strict dress and conduct rules were enforced. The hotel became a more standard hotel when it began admitting men as guests in 1981. In 2002, a $40 million renovation was completed and the name was changed to the Melrose Hotel.

Even after the condo renovation, there are still 13 women living under the old arrangements at the hotel.

The building includes a large indoor pool, and air rights to adjacent properties were purchased when the building was constructed, ensuring plenty of light and unimpeded views for the upper floors.

Famous residents include Edith Bouvier Beale, Candice Bergen, Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Joan Crawford and Ali McGraw

Irving Berlin's residence at
17 Beekman Place

Beekman Place

Irving Berlin
49th and 50th Streets—the two blocks east of First Avenue

Beekman Place originally included the property of James Beekman's colonial mansion, Mount Pleasant, built in 1763. The town houses were remodeled in the 1920s.

Since the early development of Manhattan, Beekman Place has been an enclave of old money. It has been home to members of the Rockefeller family and Huntington Hartford, heir to the A&P fortune, lived at One Beekman Place in the 1950s. Theatrical personalities also lived here, among them Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Ethel Barrymore, Katharine Cornell and Irving Berlin.

Several famous people lived at the large apartment building, 1 Beekman Place, which is at the corner of Beekman and Mitchell Place, including novelists Mary McCarthy and John P. Marquand. This was where the real real Auntie Mame lived!

The Beresford

Rock Hudson
211 Central Park West / 1 and 7 West 81st Street

Built in 1929, this beautiful apartment building is so large it has 3 addresses. Famous occupants have included, Meryl Streep, Peter Jennings, Helen Gurly Brown, Tony Randall, Rock Hudson, John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Calvin Klien, Beverly Sills, Isaac Stern, and Jerry Seinfeld

SOURCES: Wikipedia and NEW YORK:The Movie Lovers Guide by Richard Alleman


The Chelsea Hotel

Mark Twain

Dylan Thomas

Arthur Miller

Leonard Cohen

Janis Joplin

Sid and Nancy

222 West 23rd

Built in 1884 The Chelsea was the city's first Co-operative apartment complex. For twenty years the co-op system worked but after 2 financial panics in a row in the early part of the 20th century,  the Chelsea went bankrupt and then was turned into a hotel. Since the 1920's it has been a haven for transient artists.

Some of the people who have stayed there include: Mark Twain, O. Henry, Sarah Bernhardt, Dylan Thomas, Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Miller, William Burroughs, Claes Oldenburg, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Donald Sutherland, Christo, Arthur C. Clarke (wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey here), Patti Smith, Andy Warhol (filmed Chelsea Girls there), Jane Fonda, Bob Dylan (lived there with wife Sara and wrote Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands. They had a child here) Jim Carroll, Milos Forman ( who directed Hair while living here) and Sid Vicious

The Chelsea was famous even back at a time when Mark Twain was living in one of its rooms. Thomas Wolfe and Arthur Miller lived and wrote here. Miller, who stayed six years at the Chelsea described the famous artist's hotel like this: This hotel does not belong to America. There are no vacuum cleaners, no rules and's the high spot of the surreal. Cautiously, I lifted my feet to move across bloodstained winos passing out on the sidewalks--and I was happy. I witnessed how a new time, the sixties, stumbled into the Chelsea with young, bloodshot eyes.

Until 1884, the Chelsea Hotel was the highest building in New York City.

Today, only 100 of the Chelsea's 400 'units' are available to 'normal' New York visitors, the rest of them is occupied by permanent residents.

Every room at the Chelsea tells its own story. In Room 205, welsh poet Dylan Thomas, fell into a fatal coma after having 18 whiskeys in a row.

Number 100 was once occupied by Sid Vicious, bass player with The Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. On the morning of October 11, 1978 Spungen was found in the bathroom, stabbed to death.Vicious, arrested under suspicion of murder, died shortly thereafter of a heroin overdose.

Jim Hendrix lived here. Janis Joplin did not only have a love affair with Southern Comfort but also had a short liaison with Leonard Cohen. The Canadian rock poet, too, loved the hotel: It's one of those hotels that have everything that I love so well about hotels. I love hotels to which, at four a.m., you can bring along a midget, a bear and four ladies, drag them to your room and no one cares about it at all.

For many, the Chelsea was a hideout or regular address for many years, remembers Stanley Bard, who's been the hotel manager for almost 40 years now. Some of them lived here over decades. It was only recently that punk-icon Patti Smith moved out.

Bob Dylan lived in suite # 2011.  Number 411 was Janis Joplin's suite. Over the years, Leonard Cohen has lived in many rooms.  Most of his time in New York in the sixties he was living at # 424. Long after this, Jon Bon Jovi wrote the song and shot his video for 'Midnight At Chelsea" in suite # 515.
SOURCES:; Wikipedia

The Christadora House today

143 Avenue B
This 17-story, dark brown brick structure began its existence as the Christadora Settlement House in 1928.

Fronting on Tompkins Park in the heart of the East Village, this handsome building was designed by Henry C. Pelton in a style that was an interesting and strong example of the transition between the minimalist neo-classical and Art Deco styles. Pelton also designed the Park Avenue Baptist Church at 64th Street and the Park Avenue Methodist Church on East 86th Street

The building has had an interesting history. George Gershwin gave his first public recital in its third floor concert hall, according to Elliot Willensky and Norval White in their book, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City, Third Edition," (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988).

Decades later it was the center of a community center controversy that became part of serious civil disturbances in and around the park.

By the 1980's, the East Village was beginning to be gentrified and this building by converted by Harvey Skydell and Sam Glasser in late 1986 to condominiums. John T. Fifield Associates and Justin Georges were the architects of the conversion.

The Dakota in 1890

The Dakota today

The Dakota

John Lennon

Lauren Bacall

Boris Karloff

Judy Holliday

1 west 72nd St.
The Dakota, was built from 1880 to 1884, and is located on the northwest corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West. According to popular legend, the Dakota was so named because at the time it was built, the Upper West Side of Manhattan was sparsely inhabited and considered as remote as the Dakota Territory.
Several movies, including Rosemary's Baby and Vanilla Sky directed by Roman Polanski and Cameron Crowe respectively, use the exterior of the Dakota. Interiors of the building portrayed in the films had to be shot on a soundstage as the Dakota does not allow filming inside.
The building is best known as the home of former Beatle John Lennon, starting in 1973, and as the location of Lennon's murder by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980.

Former and current residents include:
Lauren Bacall
Leonard Bernstein
Connie Chung and husband Maury Povich
F. Ambrose Clark
who was also grandson of the original builder
songwriter/producer Bob Crewe
José Ferrer
Roberta Flack
Charles Henri Ford
Judy Garland
Steve Guttenberg
Judy Holliday
playwright William Inge
Boris Karloff
John Lennon
Sean Lennon,
son of John and Yoko
football player, coach, and announcer John Madden
author Carson McCullers
filmmaker Albert Maysles
musician Ian McDonald
dancer Rudolf Nureyev
artist Yoko Ono
comedienne Gilda Radner
critic Rex Reed
film and television producer Edgar J. Scherick
singer Neil Sedaka
actor Jason Robards
actor Robert Ryan
actor Zachary Scott

The El Dorado

The El Dorado

300 Central Park West (90th and 91st)
The El Dorado was constructed between 1929 and 1931

Some of the stars that have lived here are Carrie Fisher, Bianca Jagger, Martin Balsam, Bono, Moby, Tuesday Weld, Micheal J. Fox and Tracy Pollen, and Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Faye Dunaway, Richard Dreyfuss and Roddy McDowall.

3 Gramercy Park West—Garfield

15 Gramercy Arts South—
National Arts Club
Samuel Tildon

Edwin Booth House
16 Gramercy Park South

34 Gramercy Park East
James Cagney

36 Gramercy Park East—

Gramercy Park

John Garfield

Edwin Booth

Thomas Edison

James Cagney

John Barrymore

John Steinbeck

End of Lexington Ave between 20th and 21st Street

Gramercy Park and the surrounding neighborhood is one of New York's most charming and authentic sections. Change has come very slowly here: Many of the houses and apartment buildings date from the 19th century. Over the years it has been the home of countless prominent New Yorkers, many of them artists and writers. The park is the only remaining private park in Manhattan.

The park is still beautifully maintained by it's owners, those who have keys to the iron gates. Residents living in buildings that face the park may buy a key to the park, which is changed annually. In addition, members of the Players Club and the National Arts Club as well as guests of the Gramercy Park Hotel have key access, as does Calvary Church.

The Gramercy Park Hotel (see below) was built and opened in 1925. Other than that, there have been few alterations to the square in the last hundred years.

Noteworthy people who have lived here include:

John Garfield—3 Gramercy Park West
The American movie and stage actor died here in his sleep on May 19, 1952. He was only 39 years old.

Samuel Tilden—15 Gramercy Park South
Tilden was a govenor of New York. He is best remembered as the presidential candidate who in 1876 won the popular vote by 250,000 but lost in the electoral college to Rutherford B. Hayes. This building, built in 1845 and remodelled in 1874, became the National Arts Club in 1906.

Edwin Booth16 Gramercy Park South
Booth was a very successful and popular actor in the 19th century. He was the older brother of John Wilkes, the man who shot Abraham Lincoln.
He purchased the house in 1888 and commissioned Stanford White to remodel it. He then turned it into the Players Club, which he presented to a group of New York actors as their permanent home. Booth died in his quarters here at the club on June 8, 1893. There is a statue of him inside the park.

Thomas Edison—24 Gramercy Park South
Edison rented an apartment in a building located here in 1881 with his wife and daughter.
His laboratory was located in Upper Manhattan and they lived at their home in Menlo Park, New Jersey during the summer months. The original house was demolished in 1908 and replaced by this modern building.

James Cagney—34 Garmercy Park East
This red brick Victorian apartment house called the Gramercy was built in 1883 and is probably the city's first cooperative. the building still has cable-controlled bird cage elevators.
It was also the home of Margaret Hamilton who played the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz.

John Barrymore—36 Gramercy Park East
The actor, and grandfather of Drew Barrymore, lived in this building with his first wife. Their apartment had a balcony overlooking the park.

John Steinbeck—38 Gramercy Park North
Steinbeck was a young writer just arrived from California in 1925 when he rented a small dingy room in this building. It was up six flights of stairs and cost him $7 a week. He got a job as a cub reporter for the New York World which supported him temporarily while he wrote short stories. The job did not last and he was unsuccessful in getting any of his stories publised. He retuned, dejected, to California in the summer of 1925.

Source: The Streets Where They Lived by Stephen W. Plumb

The Gramercy
Park Hotel

2 Lexington Ave, at Gramercy Park North

The Gramercy Park Hotel was one of New York’s truly legendary hotels, designed by Robert T. Lyons and built by the famous developer brothers Bing and Bing in 1925. The hotel occupies the site of the former homes of flamboyant architect Stanford White and controversial agnostic Robert Ingersoll. In the hotel's first two years, Humphrey Bogart lived in the hotel with his first wife Helen Menken, just after marrying her, and the Joseph P. Kennedy family stayed on the 2nd floor before moving to London. During the Great Depression, Babe Ruth was a regular bar patron. An autographed picture of Ruth hung in the bar until it disappeared in the 1960s. In the 1940s, Edmund Wilson lived in the hotel with novelist Mary McCarthy.

Hotel des Artistes, today
Hotel des
Howard Chandler Christy
1 West 67th St.

Built in 1918, this is one of the city's most famous and illustrious buildings. The Hotel Des Artistes is the largest "studio" building in the city and was originally designed as an artist's cooperative apartment building. 

Famous past and present  residents include Rudolph Valentino, artist Norman Rockwell, dancer Isadora Duncan, Noel Coward, former NYC mayor, John Lindsay, and actors Richard Thomas and Joel Grey, writer Fannie Hurst, who had a very large triplex penthouse, and writer Alexander Woollcott. Artist Howard Chandler Christy, an early resident, painted murals for the building's famous restaurant, Café des Artistes.

135 CPW-The Langham

The Langham

Mia Farrow
135 Central Park West

Built in 1905, The Langham’s luxury apartments have been home to Maureen O’Sullivan and Mia Farrow (The apartment was featured in the Woody Allen film, Hannah and Her Sisters).

Other famous tenants have included Lee Strausburg, Cyril Ritchard, Merv Griffin and Carly Simon and James Taylor.

The Lucerne Hotel

Lucerne Hotel

201 W 79th Street (corner of Amsterdam Avenue)

Built in 1903, it was billed as “fireproof and quiet, in the pleasing part of New York”.

In the early 20th century, the Lucerne was home to  Eugene O’Neill, who listed it as his address while away at school at Princeton University in 1907. His parents maintained a residence there.

After decades as kind of a second-rate hotel, the Lucerne was cleaned up and redone, its terra cotta facade restored. Today, it looks strikingly similar now to the way it did over a century ago.

Patchin Place today
Patchin Place

e. e. cummings
Located off 10th Street and Avenue of the Americas
Not an apartment building or a hotel, Patchin Place is a gated cul-de-sac
with ten brick row houses that were built in 1848 or 1849.
In the early 20th century, Patchin Place became popular with writers and artists for the privacy it offered in the middle of Bohemia. Indoor plumbing, electricity, and steam heat were added in 1917. In 1920 the houses were converted into small apartments.
Today it is a popular location for psychotherapists' offices.

Noted residents include:
Djuna Barnes (#5, 1941–1982)
Marlon Brando (ca. 1943, while rooming with his sister)
Louise Bryant (#1, with John Reed)
E. E. Cummings (#4, 1923–1962)
Theodore Dreiser
Alyse Gregory
John Howard Lawson (16 years)
John Masefield
John Cowper Powys (#4, 1923–1929)
John Reed (#1, with Louise Bryant, began writing Ten Days That Shook the World here)
SOURCE: Wikipedia

San Remo today

San Remo

Rita Hayworth
145-146 Central Park West
Built in 1930
There are two addresses because the building was designed such that each half of the structure(northern and southern) is served by that respective lobby.
This landmark building has been the home to many celebrities including Dustin Hoffman, Mary Tyler Moore, Raquel Welch, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Steve Martin, Donald Sutherland, Paul Simon, Barry Manilow, Elain May, Tony Randall, Robert Stigwood, Howold Arlen,  Diane Keaton, U2 Frontman, Bono and Rita Hayworth. Miss Hayworth lived here during the last years of her life in her daughter, Yazmin Khan’s, apartment.
Steven Spielberg, Donna Karan, Steve Jobs, Glenn Close, Eddie Cantor, Robert Stigwood, Marshall Brickman, Jackie Leo, Don Hewitt, also lived here.

Katherine Hepburn's house at
244 E 49th St

Turtle Bay

Katherine Hepburn
48th and 49th between Second and Third Avenue

Turtle Bay Gardens is made up mainly of beautiful townhouses set back to back. They share a common garden the runs the entire block and is hidden from the street.

Prominent New Yorkers who have lived here include Henry Luce, the magazine publisher, who lived at 234 E. 49th, Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin who lived at 242 E. 49th, and Katherine Hepburn who owned number 244, on E. 49th St., for over 50 years. E. B. White was living at number 229 E. 48th when he wrote Charlotte's Web in 1949.

The Warwick Hotel

The Warwick Hotel

Cary Grant
65 West 54th Street

This hotel's historical past includes some of the more prominent celebrities that were long-time residents including Cary Grant (who resided in the hotel for over 12 years) and Mr. and Mrs. Irving Berlin. The Beatles stayed at The Warwick during their first trip to New York, and it was also home to Elvis Presley whenever he was in New York City for various appearances.