Barbizon Hotel for Women, now known as the condominium apartments Barbizon 63, was built as a residential hotel catering to young professionals.
The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) added the building to its roster in April 2012, noting that the structure is “an excellent representative of the 1920s apartment hotel building, and is notable for the high quality of its design.”
The zoning law of 1916 required setbacks – indented upper floors – on tall buildings to permit more light to reach the street. Complex arcades and courtyards in Barbizon Hotel’s setback design add visual interest to the tower. The complex brickwork, with a mix of colors and corbelling, adds visual rich texture, even from a distance.
Hotels for women were the ladies’ answer to late-1800s “bachelor flats” for men (e.g., The Wilbraham), and completed the quaint (by today’s standards) segregation of residences: for families, for single men, and for single women. (See also Beekman Tower Hotel, the former Panhellenic Tower.) See the LPC designation report for a great synopsis of New York City’s housing variety: tenements, apartments, french flats, rooming houses, residence and club hotels.
The first owners lost the hotel through foreclosure, but a second group led by Lawrence Elliman was able to show a profit by 1938. Quite a few now-famous women lived at the Barbizon through the mid-70s – by which time the hotel was again losing money. Between 1980 and 2001 the hotel changed hands five times, and then in 2005 it was converted to condominium apartments.
Barbizon Hotel for Women Vital Statistics
- Location: 140 E 63rd Street at Lexington Avenue
- Year completed: 1928
- Architect: Murgatroyd & Ogden
- Floors: 23
- Style: Mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance
- New York City Landmark: 2012
- National Register of Historic Places: 1982
Barbizon Hotel for Women Recommended Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
- City Realty review
- DNAinfo article
- The New York Times article (2011)
- The New York Times Real Estate article (2006)
- Daytonian in Manhattan blog
- Vanity Fair feature (2010)
- Barbizon 63 website