The Old City Hotel


 

 
 
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This old building was demolished many years ago. In 1800 it was one of the most prominent landmarks in the lower part of this city, and it appeared almost a sacrilege to blot it out of existence.*

When I recur back to the many happy hours I have spent under its roof, and bring to my memory those (all dead and gone) who were my contemporaries, it makes me sad indeed.
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* There are many interesting associations connected with the old City Hotel, that will remain with me through life. During my residence in Cortlandt Street I was a frequent visitor there. Mr. Charruaud, so well known to all old New Yorkers, had his dancing-school there, and those of my children who were old enough, attended it. It became a general rendezvous for the meeting of friends on their return from business to their homes.

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It was in this hotel that our musical entertainments were given. In this hotel assembled the beauty and fashion of the city, but it has vanished from the scene. But what a history it might tell of lives made miserable, and of those made happy! In recording these recollections of the old landmarks of this city, and remembering, as I well do, the social hours passed among them, it is a pleasure to look back, and again, in imagination, visit the scenes of so much pleasure and enjoyment.

The Astor House

This house has become one of the old landmarks of our city, and its proprietors, the Messrs. Stetson, deserve the praise of all. It has been conducted in such a way that it has drawn within its portals the greatest statesmen of the country. It has for many years been the rendezvous of the chiefs of the Republican party. The Hon. Daniel Webster had his rooms at this house whenever he visited the city. I have but few associations connected with this hotel beyond those Republican leaders. In fact, the Astor House has always been considered one of the best conducted hotels in this country.

The New York Hotel.

This hotel was built many years ago. It occupies one entire block. There was formerly on this ground a large double frame building occupied for many years as a public-house. I distinctly recollect, some forty or more years ago, of being invited by a number of acquaintances to join them in patronizing a once prominent broker, who became unfortunate, and who was at that time the proprietor of the above-named premises. I joined the party, consisting of some thirty or forty, and proceeded on a Saturday afternoon to a dinner of green turtle at one dollar a head. At that time we had no public stages, so we concluded to walk there and back instead of hiring coaches for this purpose. Suffice it to say we had a very pleasant entertainment, and returned home in good condition by bedtime. During the Yellow Fever Year those of us who were members of the Exchange arranged with the landlord of this house to meet there daily fromt welve to two o'clock, and thus we held our regular meetings until the abatement of the fever and our return down-town.

There are many pleasing associations connected with the New York Hotel. Living for so many years adjacent to it, I was in the habit of visiting there very often, and being intimate with the landlords I was almost as much at home as at my own house. The associations and new acquaintances formed there have left a pleasing recollection on my mind that I can never forget. At that time I was very fond of the game of billiards, and often joined in the amusement. Although I was far from being a skilful player, there were, however, many others no better than myself, and hence I as often won as lost a game. For many years past there has been wonderful improvement in this scientific game, and the skill exercised in the great matches, now often played, draw together hundreds of persons to witness them. But it is now a number of years since my failing eyesight has prevented me from witnessing any of these great matches, were I disposed so to do. My friend, Colonel Isaac H.; Reed, an old boarder at this hotel, was very fond of this game; he was a bold, dashing player, he understood the game perfectly.

Previous to our civil war this hotel was the favorite resort of most of our Southern visitors; it still continues to receive their patronage. Since its erection it has had several landlords, but I have always understood that they were well patronized and retired with ample means. May success attend the present occupants!

Washington Hall

This building was erected some fifty or sixty years ago, on the site of Stewart's wholesale dry-goods store, by the then political party called Federalists, of which Isaac Seabring was president at that time. It was a large hotel, and kept by a Captain Croker for many years. At the close of our war of 1812 there was a splendid banquet given in honor of the occasion in this hotel by the aristocracy of our city, in which the renowned Dominick Lynch presided. I was told by two or three of my personal friends who were present on that occasion, that it was certainly the most splendid and brilliant display of beauty and fashion that had ever before been seen in this city. The great majority of the participants are now in their graves.

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: The Old City Hotel
Researcher/Preparer/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Autobiography of N.T. Hubbard, with personal reminiscences of New York City from 1798 to 1875. by N.T. Hubbard; New York; J.F. Trow & Son, 1875.
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