Hotel Wolcott was built at the time when Herald Square was becoming New York’s “center of gravity” for entertainment, shopping, restaurants and hotels. While some prominent hotels were built on the avenues – Fifth Avenue and Broadway – mid-block properties offered quieter ambience without sacrificing convenience.
The Beaux Arts/Second Empire style was adopted for many hotels of the period. However, architect John H. Duncan designed Hotel Wolcott with oversized, flamboyant decoration to make it stand out on the mid-block location and to be unique among competitors.
John H. Duncan designed several NYC landmarks, the best-known of which are the General Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial (Grant’s Tomb) and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch in Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.
Hotel Wolcott Vital Statistics
- Location: 4 W 31st Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway
- Year completed: 1904
- Architect: John H. Duncan
- Floors: 12
- Style: Beaux Arts
- New York City Landmark: 2011
Hotel Wolcott Suggested Reading
- Wikipedia entry
- Hotel Wolcott history (hotel website)
- The Most Famous Hotels in the World page
- NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report (2011)
- New York Daily News article: Ghostly Past
- “Hidden Treasures” blog post