[Image via Wikipedia Commons]
The Real Deal is reporting that Normandy Real Estate Partners is in contract to buy 797-799 Broadway at East 11th Street for somewhere in the $100 million ballpark.
The building is noteworthy for many reasons. It opened in 1853 as the St. Denis Hotel, which is where Ulysses S. Grant wrote his post-Civil War memoirs and Alexander Graham Bell provided the first demonstration of
Off the Grid, the blog of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, has a nice post on the building's history.
In 1917, after 64 years of operation, it was announced that the St. Denis would be closing its doors to make way for a loft building. The reason for its demise was the surrounding neighborhood’s change in character and the manager’s inability to keep up with modern hotel-keeping ideas. In February 1920, the Renwick family finally sold the property, which had been in their family for 250 years, at auction.
“The changing of the St. Denis Hotel to an office building obliterates one of the oldest hotels in the city…The St. Denis Hotel was the fashionable headquarters half a century ago” said the New York Times. The hotel was converted into a modern store and office building and, during renovations, was stripped of its previous decorative front.
As we noted at the time: "Ah applesauce!" A few EVG readers figured the storefronts would attract yet another millinery shop.
Anyway! Here's a photo of the hotel in its glory days... (from the NYPL via Off the Grid)...
As for the future of the address, The Real Deal noted: "It was not immediately clear what Normandy plans to do with the building."