The Fifth Avenue Hotel: The Birth of NoMad

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The fifth avenue hotel at madison square park

StreetBeat is all about bringing you breaking news around the New York neighborhoods of NoMad and Flatiron. However, we also like to understand the history of New York and of this great neighborhood, and shed some light on how things once were. One of our favorite blogs is The Bowery Boys, they do a fantastic job of profiling the neighborhoods of a New York long since forgotten.

Yesterday they featured our area around Madison Square Park, specifically focussing on hotels such as The Fifth Avenue Hotel in the 19th century. Their depiction of that time around the neighborhood of NoMad is fantastic. Today we tend to portray the areas around Madison Square Park as up-and-coming, but during the turn of the last century it was the center of New York City. The piece goes on to explain the importance of The Fifth Avenue Hotel and political figures during the days of Tammany Hall. There are also some fantastic pictures!

In many ways, the neighborhood we now know as NoMad owes a great deal of gratitude to this great hotel. The Fifth Avenue Hotel’s location was first seen as too far uptown to succeed, but quickly developed a reputation as the social, cultural and political hub for the elite in New York. During it’s heyday it would bring in a quarter of a million dollars a year in profits, a huge amount for the day. Once the rest of the city caught on to the neighborhood, it spurred development of additional hotels to the north and west — what we know identify as the heart of the NoMad neighborhood.

In 2012 we are now seeing the revitalization of this great neighborhood, with the NoMad Hotel opening this year, as well as the prominence of The Ace Hotel. These great buildings were once inspired by The Fifth Avenue Hotel, so it’s important for us to reflect on the history that has brought us here — to this great reinvention of the neighborhood around Madison Square Park.

Make sure to check out the full article after the jump.