Tag Archives: Stephen Decatur Hatch

Gilsey House Hotel

Gilsey House Hotel is one of the last reminders that this stretch of Broadway – between Madison Square and Herald Square – was the social center of the city. There were six theaters on the three blocks between 28th and 31st Streets; so many music publishers were on neighboring 28th Street, the sound of their pianos gave rise to the name “Tin Pan Alley.” A block west, meanwhile, was the notorious “Tenderloin” district of brothels and gambling clubs.

The Gilsey House Hotel was among the most luxurious in the city, but a legal battle between the Gilsey family and the hotel operator shut the property down. In 1911 the Gilsey House Hotel became lofts serving the garment industry. In 1980 the building was converted to condominium apartments, and the facade was restored in 1992 – though missing most of the outer set of columns, which had extended over the building line. (See the Wikipedia article for a photo of the original design.)

Gilsey House Hotel Vital Statistics
Gilsey House Hotel Recommended Reading

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Bleecker Tower

Bleecker Tower, originally the Manhattan Savings Institution, is a distinctive red sandstone and brick structure. Its chamfered corner and Romanesque arches are on a massive scale – appropriate for the bank that it was. (Lofts filled the upper stories.)

After mergers with two other banks, Manhattan Savings Institution became Manhattan Savings Bank – and closed the branch at 644 Broadway in the early 1940s. “MSI” remains embossed on the building’s copper pediment.

In the 1970s the owners converted the building to residential lofts; in the 1980s the building was converted again, to luxury loft apartments. In 2000 the owners embarked on a major facade restoration.

Bleecker Tower is in good company: Landmarked Empire State Bank Building is across the street; landmark Bayard-Condict Building is next door.

Bleecker Tower Vital Statistics
Bleecker Tower Recommended Reading

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