photo: Marc Landman
Here’s an ancient painted ad that’s been exposed for a few months on the north side of West 47th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues for the Hotel Longacre, showing the going rates for lodging from about a century ago. You could get a room for a buck, or with its own separate bathroom for $1.50, and lunch went for 40¢, dinner for 65¢. The building is still home to the Night Hotel.
A demolition next door has exposed the ad after quite a few years. Whether it stays in view depends on whether the new building covers it again.
Here’s a view of the hotel from about 1915 or 1920 from Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York.
I’m a little late to the party with this one, but Vanishing Jeremiah has the ‘deets’:
A little digging shows that the building that bears the sign was Hotel Longacre. Opened in 1904, it was a stag hotel. In its advertising, it boasted being “exclusively bachelor” and “absolutely fireproof,” with amenities like a library, billiard hall, and restaurant.
The hotel’s name is a clue to Times Square’s past. Before the Times Tower, now covered completely in ads, was built in 1904 as the New York Times’ then-headquarters, the confluence of 7th Avenue and Broadway was called Longacre Square and was the home base of NYC’s carriage and buggy trade — as was Longacre Square in London, England, from which NYC borrowed the name.