Hotel Martinique (New York)
|Martinique New York on Broadway|
Martinique New York on Broadway, south facade
|Architectural style||French Renaissance|
|Location||49 West 32nd Street (also known as 1260-1266 Broadway)|
Manhattan, New York
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Henry Janeway Hardenbergh|
|Number of rooms||531|
|Number of restaurants||Petit Poulet|
|Designated||5 May 1998|
The Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton is a historic hotel at 53 West 32nd Street (also known as 1260-1266 Broadway) in Manhattan, New York City. Built by William R. H. Martin in a French Renaissance style. The hotel belongs to the Historic Hotels of America. It was the setting for Jonathan Kozol's study, Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988).
The hotel was built on lots situated at West 33rd Street and West 32nd Street, and also the northeast corner of Broadway. The 12-story 165-room Hotel Alcazar at one time adjoined the Hotel Martinique on the north side of 34th Street, east of Broadway. To the east is the Empire State Building. Also nearby are the Fifth Avenue shops, New York Penn Station, and Grand Central Terminal.
The hotel was built in 1897-98 by William R. H. Martin, who headed the Rogers Peet business. The French Renaissance style was by a design of Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. Martin had purchased the plot in 1892, and in 1893 and 1895, he bought additional land to build the hotel that he desired. The uptown store of Rogers Peet was in the same building. After the Martinique opened, Martin began running a series of short ads to introduce his house, the ads appearing several times a week in the Sun and Times.
The Hotel Martinique was designed originally as an apartment house. Later, it was found that the needs of the location would be better suited for a hotel. This was done and still there was not room enough for the growing demand of the neighborhood. A first small expansion occurred 1901-03, followed by a larger one in 1907-11, which, with the exception of the small piece of property on the corner of 33rd Street and Broadway, gave the hotel a frontage of two streets and the Avenue with a concourse running through the hotel the entire length of Broadway between the two blocks. The 1910 addition included a continuation of the original hotel, situated on 33rd Street, which ran around a small plot of ground on which were low buildings and thence across to Broadway halfway down to 32nd Street. The new addition began where the old one left off and continued to 32nd Street, running for some distance down Thirty-second Street with the main entrance on that side. Room prices in 1910 ranged from US$3.50-$6.00 and up per day. The Omar Khayyam room served as the venue for the Gus Edwards Revue's "1918 Version of a Night with Omar Khayyam", a twice-nightly performance.
During World War II, Richard Quirin and Heinrich Harm Heinck, notorious for their involvement in Operation Pastorius, were registered guests at the Hotel Martinique, contrary to George John Dasch's recommendation.
From 1973 until the end of 1988, the Martinique was a welfare hotel. It housed over 1,400 children in December 1985 within 389 families; eighteen months later, there were 438 families. In 1986, the average length of stay at the Martinque by a resident was sixteen months. The Koch administration sought to empty the hotel by the end of 1988. Kozol's 1980's study of the homeless, Rachel and Her Children, was set at the Martinique.
Developer Harold Thurman purchased the building in 1989, but it sat vacant for a number of years before he renovated it completely. The hotel was designated a New York City landmark on May 5, 1998. The hotel reopened in October 1998 under a Holiday Inn franchise as the Holiday Inn Martinique on Broadway. The hotel switched to the Radisson chain in 2005, becoming the New York Radisson Martinique Hotel, then later the Radisson Martinique on Broadway. The hotel belongs to the Historic Hotels of America. The hotel joined Hilton's Curio Collection division on February 1, 2019 and was renamed the Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection by Hilton.
The hotel's history has a long and important association with the history of golf in the United States. The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) was established at the hotel on April 10, 1916, where 35 charter members and 78 golf professionals formed to create what was then the world's largest working sports organization. The Radisson Martinique is regularly the venue for announcing the American Ryder Cup team, and in 2008, Paul Azinger announced at the hotel the four players who would compete. On August 31, 2011, the PGA Gallery at the Radisson Martinique was officially inaugurated to mark the PGA's 95th anniversary year.
A 1918 publication stated: "New York is noted for its beautiful buildings, and the Martinique is no exception". The hotel is 19 stories high, and "capitalized on the openness of Greeley Square" (now Herald Square). It was built from glazed brick, terracotta and limestone, and featured bespoke "rusticated stonework balconies and prominent cartouches on all three of its facades". It is crowned by a large mansard roof and has decorated dormers. The south facade serves as the building's front. A 1910 brochure states, "The Gentlemen’s Broadway Cafe is a veritable architectural gem. The walls and columns of Italian marble give to this room a richness which is completed by Pompeiian panels of unquestioned merit." The Louis XVI dining room was described in the same brochure: “The wainscotting and pillars are of Circassian walnut, enclosing panels of gold silk tapestry."
At the time of opening in 1910, the addition was of French Renaissance design, carried out in a general way in the interior though there was a slight leaning toward the Spanish in the exterior details. The addition and the older structure were connected with a large courtyard between the two buildings, forming an angle at this point. The ground floor contained a large lobby. To its right was the main dining room and to the left, the Broadway Cafe. Just underneath the Broadway Cafe, down a flight of marble stairs, was the Grill. The Broadway Cafe contained walls of light, artificial stone and its ceiling was treated in the Italian Renaissance style, ornamented in low relief. The corridor walls were of Greek Skyros marble in gray and yellow with a slight veining of purple. The coffered ceiling carried out this color scheme. The large dining room was modelled after the Galerie d'Apollon in the Louvre. The first floor contained a foyer in Louis XIV style, with carved, dark oak woodwork and walls completely covered in tapestries of the period. From this foyer opened out the Tea Room whose walls of artificial stone were covered with wooden grillage, painted green while the skylight over the entire room was concealed by rafters and grillage with entwined vines. Adjoining this was a Flemish-style Banquet Room in dark oak. Carved wooden doors were set with panelled mirrors in the foyer hall. Elevator doors were of bronze.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: D. Barber's "The New York Architect" (1910)
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