270 Fifth Avenue, Holland House

Constructed as the Holland House in 1890, 270 Fifth Avenue is one of the grandest such survivors from the period that saw the brownstone houses of Nomad replaced by no less opulent hotels.  Designed by Harding & Gooch, 270 Fifth Avenue was intended to suggest the external restraint associated with the earlier domestic buildings while the sultanic interiors reproduced rooms from the original Holland House Hotel in the Kensington area of London.  The hotel was the scene of a number of fashionable activities, including what were called “tally-ho” parties – hired carriages that took picnic excursions to Central Park.

The hotel was forced to close due to the economic downturn caused by Prohibition and 270 Fifth Avenue is now an office building.  The hotel’s managers might have had some choice words for their neighbors directly to the south at Marble Collegiate; the church had been a center of pro-Prohibition activity.

Little of the interior décor survives, but the wonderful exterior of 270 Fifth Avenue is largely intact.

The uppermost story is an unfortunate later addition.

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