Martha Washington Hotel
The Martha Washington Hotel is the name of a hotel originally at 30 East 30th Street, and now with its main entrance at 29 East 29th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South in the NoMad neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It was built from 1901 to 1903, and was designed by Robert W. Gibson in the Renaissance Revival style for the Women's Hotel Company.
The hotel opened on March 2, 1903 as the first hotel exclusively for middle-class white women, and serving both transient guests and permanent residents. It was almost immediately fully occupied, with over 200 names on a waiting list. It originally had 416 rooms. On June 19, 2012 it was designated a historical landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The original name of the hotel was the Women's Hotel, and subsequent names after "Martha Washington" include Hotel Thirty Thirty (2003), Hotel Lola (2011) and King & Grove New York (2012).
On May 21, 2014, King & Grove Hotels announced it is re-branding all of their hotels under the name Chelsea Hotels, and that King & Grove New York would be launched as the Martha Washington Hotel in August 2014. As part of the project the lobby level of the hotel was completely redesigned in a modern fashion, and includes a new restaurant, "Marta", run by Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. The restored hotel has over 6,000 square feet of function space.
The hotel was the chosen residence of poet Sara Teasdale on her New York visits from early 1913 onwards. Even after her marriage to Ernst Filsinger in December 1914, Teasdale often chose to stay at the Hotel. Actress Louise Brooks lived there after being evicted from the Algonquin Hotel, and editor Louise E. Dew was a resident as well.
The hotel has a connection with actress Veronica Lake: during the 1940s, Lake was regarded as one of Hollywood's most bankable actresses; however, by 1952, she was unable to continue working as an actress because of her difficult reputation - Raymond Chandler referred to her as "Moronica Lake." After divorcing her husband, she drifted between cheap hotels in Brooklyn and New York City and was arrested several times for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. A reporter found her working as a barmaid at the all-women's Martha Washington Hotel in Manhattan. At first, Lake claimed that she was a guest at the hotel and covering for a friend. Soon afterward, she admitted that she was employed at the bar. The reporter's widely distributed story led to some television and stage appearances.
The hotel served as the headquarters of the Interurban Women's Suffrage Council from 1907.
In popular culture
- The hotel is featured in the movie Valley of the Dolls; Anne Welles stayed there after arriving in New York for the first time.
- The first floor ballroom on the 29th Street side of the hotel, at 29 East 29th Street, was the third location of the Danceteria nightclub, from 1989 to 1992.
- "Martha Washington Hotel Designation Report", New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (June 19, 2012)
- Catherine Cocks (2001). Doing the Town: The Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, 1850-1915. University of California Press. p. 101. ISBN 978-0-520-92649-3.
- "3 Firehouses Among 6 Buildings Now Designated City Landmarks" New York Times (June 13, 2012)
- Drake, W.D., Sara Teasdale: Woman and Poet 1979
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