JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Hotel Astor: 1909

Hotel Astor: 1909

New York circa 1909. "Hotel Astor, Times Square." Note the elaborate roof garden. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Rare style nowadays

There are not that many Beaux-Arts buildings left. The Willard Hotel in D.C. is one of them and narrowly escaped the wrecking ball in the '80s. One of these days I am going to stay in a room that has one of those beautiful huge round windows!

Per Night

I wonder what the rates were in 1909.


The Astor was replaced by a skyscraper initially known as the W.T. Grant Building, now known as 1 Astor Plaza. Viacom is a primary tenant, and one of the Viacom cable channels (MTV) has broadcast from one of the lower-level studios. Total Request Live (or TRL), which introduced the world to Carson Daly, was one of those shows. That ain't working, that's the way they do it.

I want a room on the top floor with the railing

or a room with a flagpole sticking out the window

Golden Renault

That 35-45 HP Renault Chassis would be $187,532.95 today's money.

Bigger Astor

It is easy to see the approximately 60% addition to the hotel looking down 45th street. Looks like 6 rows of windows newer looking than the rest of the hotel.

How deep?

Nobody else has commented on this yet, but was it built 10-windows deep and later expanded by six more windows? Some of the pictures on the NY Architecture page seem to confirm that it started life more shallow.

[You might be looking at a picture of the Knickerbocker Hotel, which seems to be on that page by mistake. But yes, the Hotel Astor was enlarged by six windows at the back in 1908-1909. - Dave]

The Clock

Under the Astor Hotel's clock was where Robert Walker and Judy Garland agreed to meet in the 1945 movie "The Clock."

6-6-66, 5-5-55

Back on June 6, 1966, at 6:06 p.m., a group that had last met on May 5, 1955, at 5:55 p.m. gathered once again as planned at the Astor Bar to savor the moment. On September 9, 1999, at 9:09 a.m., at 9th Avenue and 19th Street, we had planned to meet again, but fate intervened and the venue was changed to the Deer Park Hotel in Newark, Delaware, close to the setting of our first gathering. Talk about having a life-long obsession with numbers on the calendar!

Fiat: made in USA

Fiat automobiles were"home made" upriver 75 miles in a beautiful art deco factory. The building became Western Printing home of all the Dell comic books you may have read long ago. All gone now. A Staples has since been built on the site.

[Upriver from Times Square? Everyone into the canoe! - Dave]

Good one! Yup, better than "up the river" some thirty miles (give or take).

Hotel Astor Roof Garden

Are there pictures of the Roof Garden? What is the building that replaced this hotel when it was torn down?

Xesús Cociña Souto (Santiago de Compostela, Galiza, Spain)

[Click here. - Dave]

Shades of greatness

Another great building from the golden age of window awnings!

I had nothing to lose at the Astor

back in '57, when I was a new immigrant with a couple of bucks in my pocket, nursing a 15 cent draft beer at the bar. It was where I went to get away from the cheap rooming house on 36th Street. Ten years later, when they tore it down, that little beer was something with an olive in it and I spent more than two bucks tipping my doorman at the place where I still live. I was sorry to see my old hangout turn to dust.

Have you heard that Mimsy Starr

Just got pinched in the Astor bar?

Cole wasn't writing about the roof garden, but I've always loved that line.

Thermos: The Bottle

And here I haven't even seen the film yet.

Taxis of the Marne?

I'm not aware that Renault automobiles were sold in America that early, but look at that taxi stand. There's a remarkable resemblance to the cabs that saved Paris in 1914.

[The Renault Taxicab Company was incorporated in New York in 1907 and operated out of the Renault garage. - Dave]

Reach for the stars

New York Times, 1920:

Down near Times Square the Hotel Astor Roof Garden and Belvedere Restaurant make it possible for the wayfarer to leave the torrid stretches of Seventh Avenue and in a few moments find himself in a real garden surrounded by flowers.

There is the open-air dancing floor and the restaurant is conspicuous for dangling ferns and trailing vines. A unique feature of the restaurant is the gabled-glass roof over which flows a miniature Niagara.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2022 Shorpy Inc.