Bretton Hall (Manhattan)
It was completed in 1903, as the Hotel Bretton Hall, as a residential hotel billing itself as the largest hotel uptown. The architect was Harry B. Mulliken, of Mulliken and Moeller, who also designed the Cumberland Hotel, Thomas Jefferson Hotel, and the Spencer Arms Hotel on Broadway, the Hotel Lucerne on Amsterdam Avenue at 79th Street, and the Van Dyck, the Severn, the Jermyn, and the Chepstow apartment buildings on the Upper West Side.
The 86th Street Company received the unimproved property from Le Grand K. Petit with a mortgage of $90,000 on it. A building loan of $1,250,000 at 6% was secured from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on March 10, 1902. Afterward the 86th Street Company mortgaged the property for $1,365,000 at 6%, due October 1, 1903, to the General Building and Construction Company. John R. & Oscar L. Foley leased Bretton Hall to Anderson & Price for twenty-one years for a price of $2,394,000, for Irons & Todd, who comprised the Seaboard Realty and 86th Street Companies.
In the early 1980s, an organization called Artists Assistance Services rented out apartments in the Bretton Hall to people in the arts, with the unusual proviso that they would have to share the use of the space with a "cultural activity" such as a karate class.
When it opened in late 1903 the basement and deckhouse apartment hotel was fireproof and equipped with an electric plant and six elevators. The structure contained 187 suites, 506 rooms, 231 baths, and 385 toilet rooms. It fronted Broadway for 205 feet and 85th Street for 100.11 feet. Its rear measurement was 204.4 feet. Plans for Bretton Hall were filed on June 7, 1902 with an estimated cost of construction to be $1,550,000.
The New York Produce Exchange Bank opened a branch at the Bretton Hall Hotel in November 1903. They leased offices in the edifice for a period of ten years for an annual rental between $2,500 to $3,500. It was subsequently acquire by investor Benjamin Winter, Sr. who lost it in 1932 after filing for bankrutcy.
Currently the red brick and limestone building has 461 rental apartments. Its facade employs cornerstones repeatedly, particularly above the central bay above the Broadway entrance. It has a large stainless steel marquee and a four-step-up entrance with a disabled ramp side approach. It is without a garage, sidewalk landscaping, health club, or roof deck. Bretton Hall employs a concierge and features ornamental balconies and other architectural attributes. Its fenestration is haphazard. Its facade exemplifies Beaux Arts architecture, yet it lacks the elaborate cornice it originally had. It was lost many years ago. Architect J.C. Calderon has redesigned the parapet in red brick with stone put down in alternating stripes. The restoration of the building cost $1,000,000.
- Bretton Hall Leased, New York Times, August 18, 1903, pg. 10.
- On Broadway: A Journey Uptown Over Time, David Dunlap, Rizzoli, 1990,
- "Hotel Bretton Hall". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Michael V. Susi, The Upper West Side 1988, illus. p 69.
- "The Broadway blues", New York Magazine, 13 May 1985, p. 53.
- New Bank On Upper Broadway, New York Times, New York Times, November 8, 1903, pg. F4.
- New York Times: "BANKS GET HOTELS FOR WINTER'S DEBTS; Bank of United States and 3 Others Acquire Bretton Hall, Stanhope and Other Realty. GET DELMONICO INTEREST Release Some of Properties Now Held for $2,090,330 Indebtedness -- Court Approves Settlement." December 3, 1932
- Along Broadway Jettisoned Cornices Are Being Rebuilt,The New York Times, January 7, 2007, pg. 11.9.
- Media related to Bretton Hall at Wikimedia Commons
- Bretton Hall photo and article at thecityreview.com retrieved on 2-12-08.