McAlpin Hotel, New York, USA

McAlpin Hotel
New York City
On back:
The McAlpin Hotel, just finished, is the lagest otel in the world, occupying an entired block on Broadway between 33rd and 34th Streets. It is 25 stories high with 3 sub-basements, contains 1620 rooms, all outside. 1100 baths and 1800 telephones. Total cost $13,500.000
Publisher: Manhattan Post Card Co., New York

The Hotel McAlpin was constructed in 1912 by General Edwin A. McAlpin, son of David Hunter McAlpin. When opened it was the largest hotel in the world. The hotel was designed by the noted architect Frank Mills Andrews (1867–1948). Andrews also was president of the Greeley Square Hotel Company which first operated the hotel. Construction of the Hotel McAlpin neared completion by the end of 1912 so that the hotel had an open house on December 29. The largest hotel in the world at the time, The New York Times commented that it was so tall at 25 stories that it “seems isolated from other buildings”.

Among Andrew’s innovations for the McAlpin Hotel was fully-equipped miniature hospital “where cases, no matter how serious can be treated with exactly the same care as in the best up-to-date private sanatorium,” according to the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association in January 1911. Situated on the 23rd floor so that the patients could enjoy quiet, it was outfitted with “every modern appliance known to surgery.” The surgeons and doctors who would staff the hospital were interviewed personally by Andrews.

A Turkish bath and swimming “plunge” were built on the 24th floor unusual in that most such baths were located in basements with no circulation of fresh air. One floor was reserved for single women and children traveling alone. To prevent their being harassed, there was a separate check-in desk on that floor, staffed by women, so the female traveler could circumvent the main lobby. All employees working on that floor were female. That floor had an outdoor playground and a library, in addition to a hair dressing salon.

The New York Times reported that “Perhaps the last word in specialization is the sixteenth floor, known already as the ‘Sleepy Sixteenth.'” Reserved for guests who had night jobs or for some other reason slept during the day, “the silence of night will be preserved… It is far above the noise and swirl of one of the busiest crossways in the world.”
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