The Hotel Martinique is a historic hotel in Midtown Manhattan, at 49 West 32nd Street (main entrance), on the northeast corner of Broadway. Property at 1260-1268 Broadway, 49-51 West 32nd Street, and 54-58 West 33rd Street (see map below). The original hotel opened its doors in 1898, at West 33rd Street. In 1998, the building was designated a New York City Landmark. It belongs to the Historic Hotels of America, established in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The hotel is managed by Hilton Hotels, Curio Collection.
The 16-story Hotel Martinique was designed in a French Renaissance style by Henry J. Hardenbergh (1847-1918), a prominent architect that also designed the Dakota, the Old Waldorf-Astoria, the Plaza, Hotel Manhattan and others. The Hotel Martinique was built by William R. H. Martin (1842-1912). He was a founding member of the clothing firm of Rogers, Peet & Company and became one of the largest holders in real estate in Manhattan. He built and expanded the hotel in response to the growth of entertainment, shopping, and transportation activities in this busy Midtown area. Since 1892, Martin had been buying plots of land near Broadway, along 32nd and 33rd streets. Rogers, Peet & Co. opened a store at 1260 Broadway in 1889.
The hotel fills an irregularly shaped lot, with facades that are five bays wide on 33rd Street, six bays on Broadway, and nine bays on 32nd Street (which also houses the main entrance). The façades were built with the same materials and motifs. The Hotel Martinique was built in three phases: 1897-1898 / 1901-1903 and 1909-1910.
The first section of the Martinique was a 10-story building constructed on West 33rd Street from 1897 to 1898. Entrance at 54-58 West 33rd Street. The name Martinique was a reference to himself: Martin. Charles T. Wills was the builder. His firm also erected the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1901, Martin and Hardenbergh started building a extension to the hotel on Broadway, facing Greeley Square, completed in 1903. Martin leased the property Nos. 1266 and 1268 Broadway from Mary L. George, Hoboken. The L-shaped hotel can be seen in the illustration on the right, extracted from an old advertising that claimed the hotel was "in the heart of things".
By 1907, WM. Taylor & Son, Inc. were then the proprietors and P.L. Pinkerton, the manager. The firm was also proprietor of St. Denis Hotel.
In 1909, the third section, on the corner of Broadway and W 32nd Street, began to be constructed. The enlarged Martinique opened on December 21, 1910. After expansion the total capacity of the hotel was 600 rooms, with 400 baths.
The opennes, made possible by Greeley Square, allow a better view of the glazed brick, terra cotta, and limestone-clad structure, the mansard roof, with its towers, and ornate dormers. Despite having been created in three sections, the building maintains a harmonious street presence on all three facades: Broadway, W 32nd Street and W 33rd St. The main entrance to the hotel is three bays wide and is centered on the ground story of the West 32nd Street façade. It has wide marquee over the entry.
By 1913, Walter Chandler Jr. was the manager.
Unfortunately for the hotel, many of New York’s theatres was moving away to Times Square. In 1973, the City of New York began using the hotel as a short-term homeless shelter and the structure of the building declined rapidly. By 1987, it was owned by the Martinique Hotel Affiliates Inc. and the hotel was used exclusively by the City, that decided to empty the welfare hotel in 1988.
In 1989, after municipal officials relocated its tenants to another domicile, developer Harold Thurman purchased the building and he renovated it completely. The hotel was designated a New York City landmark on May 5, 1998. In October 1998, it was relaunched as part of the Holiday Inn brand as the "Holiday Inn Martinique on Broadway". In 2005, it was rebranded as a Radisson hotel. Since 2019, Hilton Worldwide operates it within its Curio Collection.
Copyright © Geographic Guide - Historic Hotels in NYC.