In January, I am lucky enough to be visiting New York for the first time with my course. Being unfamiliar with the city and the US in general, the first thing I did of course, was get on Google to have a peek at where I’ll be staying. It’d been described to us as belle époque and shabby chic, and what I found was beautiful, until I saw this:
Built in 1904, the Wolcott Hotel relies on it’s history and early 1900’s antique decor to keep guests coming. In it’s early days the hotel was a luxurious and high end destination in it’s prime, in a modern and newly upmarket area of New York. It attracted several famous guests, such as writer of Adventure of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, in it’s opening year, and in the late 50’s Buddy Holly was a guest.
One of the survivors of the Titanic, Dr. Washington Dodge, also found refuge and reprieve there and it was during his stay at the Wolcott that he wrote an account of his experience. It’s been owned by Scott Erlich since 1975, and he’s been meticulously restoring it to its 20th century prime. I can’t wait to walk into the stunning lobby.
“So much of New York happened here”
Guests have previously reported seeing children playing and running around the corridors and stairs, whilst staff have heard a radio in the retired ballroom and staff cafeteria, but when they get there, it’s switched off. No one is in the room.
Most recent on Erlich’s restoration agenda was the vacant ball room. He wishes to occupy it with an upscale restaurant or bar, as the only usage the ballroom has seen is photo shoots by GQ and Bon Appetit, who saw potential in the impressive architecture.
The owner Scott Erlich apparently said “Usually, people get scared of that sort of thing. Here, it’s part of the charm.”
No, people still get scared. I, still get scared. It’s said there’s a sighting every few years, but I for one hope that that time does not fall on when I’m staying there, because quite frankly, I will not be “charmed”, I’ll be petrified.