Allerton House for Women at 130 East 57th Street



Lexington Avenue


The Allerton House located at 130 East 57th Street in the southwest corner of Lexington Avenue (690-696 Lexington Ave.), in Manhattan, was originally a club residence exclusively for women, opened in 1923. Today, the building houses the Hotel 57, formerly Renaissance Hotel 57.

This 17-story Allerton House was designed in 1920 by Arthur Loomis Harmon (1878-1958), who also designed the Allerton House at 143 East 39th Street, the Shelton and other iconic buildings in New York. Harmon was born in Chicago and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at Columbia University, graduating in 1901. From 1902 to 1911 he practiced with the firm of McKim, Mead & White, during which time he supervised the construction of the extension to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Between 1913 and 1929 he practiced independently, then he joined the firm of Shreve & Lamb as a partner.

Construction of this Allerton House was announced in February 1920 and it was under construction in July 1922. It was built by the Allerton House Company with façades of deep red brick and inset marble and terra cotta elements. It was completed in 1923 with capacity to accommodate 400 women. Its occupancy was filled prior to completion. The roof areas were set back behind a corbelled parapet and rimmed with a projecting copper trellis.

The southwest corner of East 57th Street and Lexington Avenue is filled with an old building erected in the 1870s. It is connected with the 17-story building only on the first and second floors. According to the New York Times (December 8, 2002), the small building was converted to apartments by the turn of the 20th century and it was bought by Morris Blum, a tailor who lived at 788 Lexington Ave. In 1922, the Allerton House developers reached an agreement with Blum and leased the corner parcel for 21 years. The architect Harmon remodeled the corner building, adding two floors. It seems that it was separately owned until 1960, when investors David Bisgeier and Hyman L. Cohen bought both buildings.

Before the construction of this Allerton House for women, another Allerton House was used for women's residence. The second Allerton House, completed in 1915 on East 38 Street and Lexington Avenue, was sold to the YWCA in 1918 and became the Tatham House.

In 1936, the mortgage on this Allerton House on East 57th Street was refinanced. In 1956, the Women's University Club, founded in 1889, made the Allerton Hotel its headquarters, formerly in the Biltmore Hotel. In January 1960, Allerton Hotel for Women was sold to corporations controlled by by David Bisgeier and Hyman I. Cohen.

In 1982, the Allerton Hotel for Women was still in operation, but it was in decline. In 1997, it was leased for 49 years by CityLife Hotels (Property Markets Group) from the hotel's longtime owner, Allan Goldman. The hotel was remodeled into 400 rooms, renamed the Habitat Hotel and removed the women-only restriction. In 2008, it was the Renaissance New York Hotel 57, a redesigned boutique hotel with 200 guest rooms. Today it is the Hotel 57.


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Barbizon Hotel


Fraternity Clubs Building


Allerton House hotels


Lexington Avenue




Hotel 57


On the left, East 57th Street, south side, from Lexington to Park Avenue. Photo by Percy Loomis Sperr, 1930 (New York Public Library).


Lobby decoration


Roof terrace


View from the roof terrace of the Allerton House. The Art Deco Waldorf Astoria, completed in 1931, is seen in the background. Lumitone postcard, postmark 1940. Printed on verso: THE ALLERTON HOUSE, 130 East 57th Street, New York City. A distinctive residence for women, designed to unite club and hotel features with the charm, comfort and security usually found only in a private home.


Tatham House


Old Hotel


Above, the lobby and the stairway leading to the mezzanine (1924). Reproduction from "A Room of Her Own - Housing for New York's Working Women, 1875-1930" by Qianye Yu, Columbia University, 2019.

Below, Sun Parlor from postcard before 1925.


The former Allerton House as Hotel 57 in 2021. Photo by Google Street View.


Parlor hotel


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Allerton House for Women on Lexington Avenue (on the left) and East 57th St. Photo in 1923 by Byron Company from the Museum of the City of New York.


Allerton House for Women at 130 East 57th Street


Historic Hotels