Martha Washington and Barbizon hotels considered

The Martha Washington Hotel and Barbizon Hotel for Women provided housing for single women pursuing careers. In July 2011, Landmarks held public hearings for the potential designation of two residential hotels in Manhattan that served an emerging class of professional women in the early 20th Century. The Martha Washington Hotel is located at 30 East 30th Street, and the Barbizon Hotel for Women is located at 140 East 63rd Street.

Architect Robert W. Gibson designed the Martha Washington Hotel, which was completed in 1903. The hotel was run by the Women’s Hotel Company. It is one of the earliest examples of a residence catering to single professional women. The twelve-story, Renaissance Revival- style structure provided 500 long-term rooms and 150 rooms for transient tenants. The hotel began admitting male tenants in 1998. The Martha Washington Hotel is now the Hotel Thirty-Thirty.  At a hearing on July 12, the hotel’s owner supported designation. A representative of the hotel pointed out that the owner had spent a significant amount of money to renovate the building’s interior and looked forward to working with Landmarks to restore the entire property.

The 23-story, Murgatroyd & Ogden-designed Barbizon Hotel was completed in 1928. The brickand- sandstone building reflects the stepped-back massing mandated by the 1916 zoning resolution. Notable tenants of the 700-room hotel included Grace Kelly, Sylvia Plath, Lauren Bacall, and Joan Didion. The Barbizon has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. The hotel first began admitting men in 1981. The building was converted to condominiums in 2005, and is now known as Barbizon 63.

At a hearing on July 26, preservationists supported designating the hotel. The Friends of the Upper East Side’s Tara Kelly expanded on the Barbizon’s history, noting that for much of its existence it did not permit men above the first floor, and imposed rules of dress and conduct on its residents.

Landmarks did not schedule votes for either building. LPC: Martha Washington Hotel, 30 East 30th Street, Manhattan

(LP-2428) (July 12, 2011); Barbizon Hotel for Women, 140 East 63rd Street, Manhattan (LP- 2495) (July 26, 2011).

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