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Hotel Zeiger: 1957

Hotel Zeiger: 1957

August 13, 1957. "Hotel Zeiger. Ellenville, New York. General lobby." Join us in the Jubilee Room for cocktails and dancing! That stair rail looks like it was filched off a pool table. Large format negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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Morris Lapidus was here

Or at least one of his followers. It certainly looks like the Fountainebleau lobby on a tight budget.

Its Always Fun Time At Zeigers

Keyword in the Postcard/Advertisement shown in a previous comment is "Time", Zeiger is the Yiddish word for "Clock".

Your money at work

I wonder whether this professional photo - taken between the FDIC's 1956 closure of the Ellenville bank that allowed the Zeiger's overdraft, and the hotel's 1958 purchase by the FDIC - was part of an effort by the federal agency to attract a private purchaser. Two sisters with the Hotel had borrowed six-figure sums from an overly-forgiving banker. The federal judge who gave the sisters suspended sentences said at the time that the money was not used for personal gain. These photos suggest they may have sunk it into modernizing the old place.

Fred and Barney

should be visiting this to see Stony Curtis and Ann Margrock!

Borscht Belt Revisited

If you were Jewish and living in the NY area in the 50s and 60s, chances are you went at least once to a hotel in the Catskills for a week away. This lobby is so typical of the late 50s/early 60s decor that many of the resorts favored. The few I have been to look this way yet, if they are still in operation, though they are very tired. Someone here loved both Roseville Pottery and snake plants, already looking a touch dated considering the decor.

My husband's family went to the Pines every summer. I always heard about Grossinger's but never got to go. Many of these resorts are now abandoned and left to ruin. When you compare their current conditions to pictures like the one above taken in their heyday, it is both haunting and poetic. Here is a video of Grossinger's now. There are others, such as one about the Pines. All are worth seeing. They, like the pictures in this blog, remind us that nothing stays the same.

Mid Century Modern in all its Trendy Glory

I expect to see Dick Van Dyke come around the corner and stumble over an ottoman any minute, followed by Laura Petrie in her tight sweater and pedal pusher capri pants.

It's always fun time at the Hotel Zeiger

The slogan must be true, since everyone in the postcard certainly seems to be having a lot of fun!

What it looks like today

Exterior view of the Hotel Zeiger (caution: it's not pretty).

Scandal in the Catskills

This resort near Fallsburg, N.Y., was bought in 1958 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the aftermath of a bank collapse that saw the hotel's owners indicted for embezzlement. It reopened as the Eldorado.

The Hebrew Himalayas

This area was known as the Jewish Alps, because most of the hotels catered to New York City Jews. Many of the comedians of the fifties and sixties started there. Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, and even Lenny Bruce started their careers at one of those hotels. Today, the ones that are left mostly cater to Italians. When I was a teen my parents used to take me up there. The shows were quite good, but the comedians would tell the (off color) punch line in Yiddish. Something I could not understand, but my parents did.

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