Allerton House Chain
The Allerton houses were club residences built and managed by James Stewart Cushman (1871–1952), a manufacturer, realty operator, tennis official and philanthropist. The first Allerton House was completed in 1913 at 302 West 22nd Street, in New York City. The Allerton House chain included six hotels in New York, one in Cleveland and one in Chicago.
James Stewart Cushman was born in New York in 1871. He descended from Thomas Cushman, who came to America in the Mayflower. His father E. Holbrook Cushman was a realty operator. He was a member of the Board of the Young Men's Christian Association. In 1939, he was elected governor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in the State of New York. His wife Vera Scott Cushman (1876-1946) was an international vice-president of the world council of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), from 1924 to 1938, and the first president of New York YWCA (1912).
The Allerton House Company was organized in 1912 by James Cushman and William Silk. It was intended to provide small residential apartments with hotel services and club-like sociability at modest prices on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. The buildings, noted for the quality of its architectural design and interior decoration, usually included lounges, libraries, and athletic facilities.
Allerton House chain was formed by eight club hotels with moderate prices for men and women, built from 1913 to 1926. The chain was named for another Mayflower ancestor of Cushman, Mary Allerton, daughter of Isaac Allerton, an early owner of the land on which this Allerton House was built. Mary Allerton married Thomas Cushman about 1636.
In 1915 or before, Cushman was the head of the Allerton Realty Co. and the Allerton House Co. William H. Silk was the secretary. Later, the Allerton Thirty-eighth Street Company was formed. In 1923, Silk built the Barbizon Hotel in NYC, a residential hotel and clubhouse for single women.
According to the New York Times (March 20, 1952), associated with Cushman was a group of financiers including George W. Perkins and Arthur Curtiss James.
The six hotels in New York of the Allerton House chain were built at 302 West Twenty-Second Street (the first one), 138 East Thirty-eight Street (the second one), 143 East 39th Street (the third one), 45 East Fifty-fifth Street (Winslow Hotel), 22 East Thirty-eighth Street (Fraternity Clubs Building) and, for women, 130 East Fifty-seventh Street.
Note: in 1910, a 12-story "The Allerton" apartment house was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 113th Street. It was not part of the Allerton House chain. The building still exists as 600 West 113th Street.
By August 1918, the second Allerton House, built at 138 East Thirty-eight Street, was sold to Y.W.C.A. and it was then adapted into a women’s residence.
In the 1930s, the earnings of the Allerton Corporation was in decline. It was times of the Great Depression. The Allerton club residences were converted into conventional hotels.
In 1930, the 600-room Allerton Club Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, became part of the Knott chain. By June 1932, the Allerton club residence, at 45 East 55th Street also passed to the management of the Knott Company.
In May 1932, George Tybout Purves (1896-1951) of Graham Parsons & Co. was announced as the head of a committee in the interests of holders of Allerton New York Corporation. The committee was to press for a reorganization of the Corporation. The Allerton New York Corporation was reorganized about 1935.
In 1942, George T. Purves was the head of the Allerton Corporation. James Stewart Cushman was the president of the Longacre House Company and leased from Vincent Astor, the eight-story Club Hotel at 317 West Forty-fifth Street. It was renamed Longacre House and it was not associated with the Allerton New York Corporation. In 1943, Cushman bought the hotel. He died in 1952.
In 1958 a new hotel chain was formed under the name of Mansion Hotels and it included some of the original Allerton Houses, like the Midston House. Two hotel were sold in January 1960, the hotel at 130 East Fifty-seventh Street and the hotel at 22 East Thirty-eighth Street, to corporations controlled by David Bisgeier and Hyman I. Cohen.
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Allerton House Chain