In this building blackmail was crafted, Stravinsky composed, the Black Sox plotted, and swingers partied at Plato’s Retreat. Not all at the same time obviously, but still, the Ansonia hotel has quite the backstory. Originally built as a residential hotel by William Earle Dodge Stokes, it featured 1,400 rooms and 340 suites. The hotel’s residents lived in luxurious apartments with multiple bedrooms, parlors, libraries, and formal dining rooms, and basement featured the world’s largest indoor pool. Plus, it was the first air-conditioned hotel in #NYC. Famous residents included Babe Ruth; writer Theodore Dreiser, the leader of the Bahá'í Faith `Abdu'l-Bahá; conductor Arturo Toscanini; composer Igor Stravinsky; fashion designer Koos van den Akker; Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld. The hotel has also played host to multiple historical moments. It is said that on September 21, 1919, a group of Chicago White Sox players assembled in the hotel room of first baseman Arnold “Chick” Gandil and agreed to throw the World Series for roughly $10,000 per person. From 1968 until 1975 Prior to Plato’s Retreat, the building housed the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse where multiple stars including Bette Midler provided entertainment. Then, from 1977 until 1980, The hotel’s basement was home to swinger’s club Plato’s Retreat, until Mayor Ed Koch shut the club down due to health concerns. The Ansonia was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. We highly suggest looking more into this place as there is way too much fascinating history to put in this post without making it enormous. #nychistory#seeyourcity#ansoniahotel#history#baseballhistory#historicalfigures#OnlyinNY . . . Image Information: X2011.34.1136 American News Company Ansonia Apartment Hotel, New York DATE:ca. 1905
Today a c1910 postcard of the Ansonia erected between 1899 and 1905. The Ansonia was the largest residential hotel of its day. The exterior is decorated in the Beaux-Art style with a Parisian style mansard roof. Striking architectural features are the round corner-towers or turrets. Unusual for a Manhattan building, the Ansonia features an open stairwell that sweeps up to a huge domed skylight. The interior corridors are said to some of the widest in the city. For several years the owner William Earle Dodge Stokes, heir to a copper mining fortune and share holder in the Ansonia Clock Company, kept farm animals on the building’s roof next to his personal apartment. Another unusual feature of the building is its cattle elevator, which enabled dairy cows to be stabled on the roof! An interesting anecdote: The building’s original, elaborate copper cornices were removed during World War II and melted down for the war effort. By the mid-twentieth-century, the grand apartments had mostly been divided into studios and one-bedroom units, almost all of which retained their original architectural detail. In 1992 the Ansonia was converted to a condominium apartment building with 430 apartments. By 2007, most of the rent-controlled tenants had moved out, and the small apartments were sold to buyers who purchased clusters of small apartments and threw them together to recreate the grand apartments of the building’s glory days, with carefully restored Beaux-Arts details.