The building was originally the American Seamen's Friend Society Sailors' Home and Institute, a hotel for sailors built in 1906–08 and designed by William A. Boring in Georgian style. The building featured a chapel, a concert hall, and a bowling alley, and a beacon which played over the river from the polygonal observatory. The hotel was used to house the survivors of the RMS Titanic while the American inquest into the sinking was held.
In 1944, the YMCA took over the building, running it as a transient hotel called the Jane West. Most recently, it was called the Riverview Hotel. The hotel was renovated by developers Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode in 2008 in partnership with BD Hotels, converting a facility which had become long-term housing for drug addicts and those down on their luck into an upscale hotel.
Jane Street Theatre
The ballroom of the hotel was converted into a theatre space by Theater for the New City in the 1970s. The Jane Street Theatre was an Off-Broadway theatre which had a very small thrust stage and a seating capacity of 280. Notable shows which were presented there include Hedwig and the Angry Inch and tick, tick ... BOOM!.
The space later became available for commercial rental, but it is now the Jane Ballroom, the bar of The Jane. The Jane Ballroom was shut down for six months from late 2009 to May 2010, when police investigating the complaints of neighbors about noise from the people lined up trying to get inside discovered that the bar did not have an assembly permit.
- New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S. (text); Postal, Matthew A. (text) (2009), Postal, Matthew A., ed., Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.), New York: John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1, p.58
- "History" on the Jane Hotel website
- Gray, Christopher. "Popeye Slept Here and Now Olive Oyl Can, Too". New York Times (July 14, 2009)
- Jane Street Theatre at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Cardwell, Diane. "It’s Reopening Night at the Jane Ballroom" New York Times (May 3, 2010)
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