Hotel Bossert

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General information
LocationBrooklyn, New York City
Coordinates40°41′41.5″N 73°59′45″W / 40.694861°N 73.99583°W / 40.694861; -73.99583Coordinates: 40°41′41.5″N 73°59′45″W / 40.694861°N 73.99583°W / 40.694861; -73.99583
OwnerDavid Bistricer of Clipper Equity and the Chetrit Group
Technical details
Floor count14
Design and construction
DeveloperLouis Bossert
Other information
Number of suites224

Hotel Bossert was once known as "the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn". It was the site of the celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers' only World Series championship.[1]

Early history[edit]

The hotel was built in 1909 by Louis Bossert, a Brooklyn lumber magnate, at 98 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. It had an Italian Renaissance Revival-style exterior.[1] It was designed as an apartment hotel. [2] The design work was by Palmer & Hornbostel.

During the 1920s, the Hotel Bossert was known for its Marine Roof, a two-level restaurant on the roof of the 14-story building that provided diners with a commanding view of Manhattan.[1] Popular bandleader Freddy Martin initially gained popularity through a lengthy stint performing at the Marine Roof in the early 1930s. Some of his earliest commercial recordings, which pioneered the 'tenor band' style of sweet dance music, were credited only as the 'Hotel Bossert Orchestra'.

The hotel drew some attention in November, 1945, when Charles Armijo Woodruff, the 11th Governor of American Samoa, committed suicide by hanging himself in his room there.[3] Just one month later, former Congressman Thomas F. Magner also died in the hotel.[4]

In the 1950s, the Bossert was the home of several Brooklyn Dodger players.[2] Following the Brooklyn Dodgers' win over the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series, Dodgers fans gathered in the Bossert lobby and serenaded Dodgers' manager Walter Alston with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".[1]

Hotel Bossert Hicks Montague jeh.jpg
Montague Street entrance

Purchase by Watchtower and restoration[edit]

In 1983, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York began leasing space in the Bossert for use by Jehovah's Witnesses. The Society bought the hotel in 1988. It required extensive restoration according to the Landmarks Preservation Commission standards for the historic district. The famed Marine Roof had collapsed, and a new roof had to be built. Also, the lobby was in poor condition, and over 2,500 square feet (230 m2) of the marble had to be replaced. Watchtower went to the original quarry to replace it.[2] That effort garnered praise and awards.[5] [6]

In late January 2008, the Society announced it would sell the building.[1] The sale was conducted through a private-bidding process, which took nearly five years.[5] One local realtor (Arlene Waye of Awaye Realty) estimated that the building would sell for about $100 million.[2] Judi Stanton, the president of the Brooklyn Heights Association, remarked that “The Witnesses have done an exquisite job in maintaining the building."[5] Timothy King, a senior partner at Massey Knakal Realty Services Brooklyn, agreed calling the hotel "one of the most unique and most well-maintained trophy assets in Brooklyn." He continued, "The Watchtower organization is well known for impeccable maintenance standards and the Bossert reflects this level of care. It will be a challenge for a new owner to run the building with the same level of care and attention to detail."[2]

Late in 2012, the Bossert was sold for $81 million to David Bistricer of Clipper Equity and Joseph Chetrit of the Chetrit Group, who plans to turn it into a boutique hotel with around 300 rooms. [7]

Barbara Cooney was born in the hotel, which was built by her maternal grandfather.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ramirez, Anthony, (January 30, 2008), "'Hotel Where Dodgers Celebrated a Title Is Up for Sale". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-30
  2. ^ a b c d e Linda Collins (2008-01-29), "Brooklyn’s Fabled Hotel Bossert on Market; Watchtower Seeking Bids". Broolyn Daily Eagle. Retrieved 2008-02-05
  3. ^ "Ship Captain Ends Life: Despondent, He Hangs Himself in Room in a Brooklyn Hotel". The New York Times. New York City. The New York Times Company. 24 November 1945. p. 21.
  4. ^ "Thomas F. Magner, 85, Ex-Congressman, Dies". The New York Times. New York City. The New York Times Company. 23 December 1945. p. 17.
  5. ^ a b c Buiso, Gary (2008-02-01), "Jehovah’s Witnesses to sell Bossert Hotel" Brooklyn Heights Courier. Retrieved on 2008-02-05
  6. ^ Checkout Time at the Bossert Hotel
  7. ^ Constance Rosenblum (2012-10-19), "Luxury Brooklyn Condos, Some Cloaked in Tradition" "New York Times". Retrieved on 2012-11-10
  8. ^ Lipson, Eden (15 March 2000). "Barbara Cooney, 83, Children's Book Creator". New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2016.