The Ansonia Hotel, billed itself as “Fireproof in Every Sense of the Word” (how many senses are there):
For once the advertisement may actually have been true because the hotel is not only still standing, it has had a very rich history including being featured in many books and movies over the years.
In 1915 a room and a bath cost $3.00, maid service was optional and catered to Transient and Permanent guests. It billed itself as the finest Apartment Hotel in the World.
This is a 1915 advertisement for the Hotel Martha Washington, which was billed as an “Exceptional Place for Women Traveling Alone” and “Absolutely Fireproof.” Although the hotel catered to women traveling alone, it also featured a restaurant that served both “Ladies and Gentlemen” in case the women wanted to get lucky, I guess.
Rooms were only a dollar a day which included a bath. It even had a telephone (call 6500 Madison).
Ads like this are a small reminder of just how much the world has changed – the idea that women would need to be segregated into a hotel just for women – the boasting that the hotel was fireproof (because most hotels of the time were actually death traps) and the prices, all hint at a world that most of us living today have never experienced.