Monday, April 23, 2012

Ladies reading room, writing room, and library at the Murray Hill Hotel

Murray Hill Hotel (c. 1900-1910)
Ladies reading room, writing room, and library at the Murray Hill Hotel

Location: 112 Park Avenue (between 40th and 41st Streets), New York, New York, USA

Opened: Built in 1884

Closed: Razed in 1947

The Murray Hill Hotel was a high-end Manhattan hotel designed by Stephen Decatur Hatch. While the exterior has been extensively documented by talented photographers like Berenice Abbott and others, I have found just two photographs of the hotel's breathtaking interior spaces.

One of these was a womyn's space--a ladies reading room, writing room, and library.

Ladies reading room, writing room, and library
Murray Hill Hotel (c. 1905-1915)
Oh to be a lady fortunate enough to inhabit such a reading room--a place where you could lose yourself in a good novel for a couple of hours, or scrawl down a few lines of verse without interruption, all in the company of other like-minded and literate ladies. (I imagine the library must have been way to the rear, as I see no books at all.) Of course, very few women had the wealth or privilege that allowed such a thing.

Here's the foyer and marble staircase for the Murray Hill Hotel, also a stunning example of late Victorian interior design at its very best.

Foyer and marble staircase, Murray Hill Hotel
(c. 1905-1915)

 And to think that all this was destroyed for a post-war office building....

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