9. The Barbizon Hotel for Women required three letters of recommendation to live there

The Barbizon Hotel on the Upper East Side

Located at 140 East 63rd Street, the Barbizon Hotel was built in 1927 as a “Club Residence for Professional Women.” The hotel is a blend of Late Gothic Revival and Italian Renaissance architecture with some Islamic elements. The hotel’s reputation skyrocketed in the 1940s as the premier hotel for young single women. It was required that a woman have three letters of recommendation and impeccable manners to be allowed to rent a room at the hotel. And it wasn’t until 1981 that male guests were allowed in.

Between 1940 and 1960, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Liza Minnelli, Cybill Shepherd, Candice Bergen, Joan Didion, and Betsey Johnson made the Barbizon their home. Ricky Gervais and Boris Johnson had notable stays at the hotel as well. In 2002, following a major renovation, the name was changed to the Melrose Hotel, and since 2005 it has been known as Barbizon 63. The building now contains an indoor pool that is a part of Equinox Fitness Club.