8. The Barbizon Hotel, 140 East 63rd Street

Barbizon Lower Level Upper East Side

In the years immediately following World War I, young, single women flocked to New York City to take advantage of the abundance of professional and educational opportunities. In order to handle the influx of single ladies, hotels catering to this specific demographic, such as The Martha Washington Hotel and the Trowmart Inn, sprung up all over the city. The most desirable option was The Barbizon Hotel for Women.

The Barizon was built in 1928 by the president of the Lex Ave & 63rd Street Corporation and founder of the Allerton Hotel chain, William H. Silk. Silk wanted this new 23-story hotel to appeal to women pursuing careers in the arts. In attempting to do so, the hotel was named after a small village near the Fontainebleau forest in France that famous painters such as Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste Corot, and Jean-François Millet called home. New York City’s Barbizon contained a special studio, and rehearsal and concert spaces to help foster the talents of residents, which included Grace Kelly, Sylvia Plath and Joan Crawford.

In 2005, The Barbizon was converted into an apartment building called Barbizon 63. The building was designated as a historic landmark in 2012.

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