To learn more about these women’s residential hotels, I highly recommend my primary source The New York Times archives. Other sources I researched include New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission reports, LANDMARK WEST! reports, and Museum of the City of New York archives.
If you’re wandering around New York City looking for The Zonderling Hotel for Working Girls, I’m sorry to say that it’s not a real place. Neither is SoDeDyFa or the Altruistic Army (don’t tell The General). But it is true that there were loads of real residential hotels for women throughout the 20th century and a handful are still in business. I lived in two different residential hotels for women when I moved to NYC!
During the fall of 2015 I checked out some former hotels and a copy of The Zonderling came along for the ride. I originally posted the following photos and history on my Facebook & Instagram in 2015 just before publication of The Zonderling. I decided to organize the information here in case you want to do your own walking tour of New York’s former residential hotels.
Discover the history of these old buildings by clicking through the photo gallery. Best viewed on desktop or iPad to read captions.
Row 1: Barbizon Hotel (UES), Martha Washington Hotel (Midtown), Swiss Town House (UWS)
Row 2: Simmons Residence Club for Women (UWS), Katharine House (West Village), Parkside Evangeline Residence for Young Women (Midtown)
Row 3: Allerton House for Women (Midtown), Trowmart Inn for Working Girls (West Village), Ten Eyck-Troughton Memorial Residence for Women (Midtown)