At the NE corner of Broadway and 32nd St. the Martinique Hotel (1897-1900) was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, better known for his Dakota Apartments (1880-1884) on Central Park West, the original Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (1897) on 5th Ave. at 34th St. and the Plaza Hotel (1905-1907) on 5th Ave. at 59th St. Hardenbergh also designed the Western Union Telegraph Building (1884) at 23rd St. and 5th Ave.
The Martinique was named for its original owner/developer William R. H. Martin (the stables at 149 E. 38th St. were built for him (click for image) in 1902). William R. H. Martin was one of the founders of the Rogers, Peet men's clothing company in 1874. Another William R. H. Martin development was the Marbridge Building at 6th Ave. and 34th St.
The following somewhat confused account of the Martinique's history appeared in the New York Times 13 Nov. 1928: "The Hotel Martinique at Broadway and Thirty-second Street, a landmark of the midtown section, was sold yesterday by the Greeley Square Hotel Company, of which Frank A. Duggan is President, to the Fifty-six East Fifty-ninth Street Corporation of which Louis Markel is President. The purchase price was not made known. The Greeley Square Hotel Company also operates the McAlpin. Built in 1910 by Charles T. Wells, the Martinique, a seventeen-story structure, occupies a plot fronting 92 feet on Broadway, 123 feet on Thirty-second Street and 67 feet on Thirty-third Street... The Greeley Square Company purchased the hotel from the William H. Martin estate in 1919."
The Martinique was listed in Rider's New York City: A Guide-Book for Travelers, compiled and edited by Fremont Rider, 1916, as, "Martinique, Broadway and 33rd st. Large hotel, special department for facilitating railway and steamship travel, representative will meet steamers and attend to baggage, and rooms will be reserved, upon request by telegram or wireless from steamer." The rates were $2 single room, $2.50 single with bath, $2.50 double room, $3.50 double room with bath.
This ad for the Hotel Martinique appeared in the American Review of Reviews, December, 1907.
This on appeared in The Clothier and Furnisher, vol. 86, no. 4, May, 1915.
This one appeared in Buildings and Building Management, February, 1918.
This notice appeared in the Hotel Red Book, 1920. At that time the Martinique was taken over by the McAlpin Hotel, who used the Martinique as an annex.
A similar notice appeared in the Garment Manufacturers' Index, April, 1920.
The Martinique is 17 stories high, contains 600 rooms and has operated continuously as a hotel since 1900. Writers for the WPA Guide to New York City (1939) cited the area around 34th St. and Broadway for being, until 1910, "the city's Rialto [where] diners-out frequented hotels such as the MARTINIQUE, Broadway and Thirty-second Street, and the HERALD SQUARE, 116 West Thirty-fourth Street, and ordered lobster in the neighborhood's sea-food restaurants." "During the 1970s and 1980s the hotel served as an emergency shelter and became one of the city's most notorious welfare hotels" (quoting Guide to New York City Landmarks, 3d edition, 2004). Christopher Gray wrote one of his "Streetscapes" articles about the Martinique during its welfare hotel era (New York Times, Sept. 27, 1987).
The Martinique is now (July 2004) a Holiday Inn, but still carries the Martinique designation over the front door:
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