HONEY, I SHRUNK THE RITZ: HISTORIC GREENWICH VILLAGE BUILDING IS REBORN AS THE MARLTON, A PARISIAN-INFLUENCED BABY GRAND HOTEL
Sean MacPherson and BD Hotels Restore 107-Room Hotel, a favorite of the Beat Generation, In the cultural, historic heart of New York City
Built in 1900, the building once known as the Marlton House has long attracted bold-faced names and counterculture icons. From Lillian Gish to Neal Cassady, the building’s past is as storied as the neighborhood it sits in. Valerie Solanas was living in the Marlton House when she shot Andy Warhol, and Lenny Bruce lived here while standing trial for obscenity. Dame Maggie Smith, John Lithgow, and Mickey Rourke all spent time here, while Jack Kerouac wrote two novellas, The Subterraneans and Tristessa, while living in the hotel. In more recent years, the building has served as a freshman dormitory for The New School.
Following a multi-million dollar renovation by hotelier Sean MacPherson, The Marlton at 5 West 8th Street, just off Washington Square Park, reopened in September 2013 as a stylish, yet affordable, boutique hotel inspired by postwar Paris as well as its own Greenwich Village past. The hotel’s design, with 107 rooms, ranging from 100 – 120 square feet, spread over nine floors and including two penthouse suites with terraces, maintains the original bones and architecture of the historic structure, while updating it with an eclectic refinement. The ground floor will house a 98-seat restaurant in the rear of the lobby with a skylight terrace, as well as a coffee bar. MacPherson envisions an open, flowing space where guests and neighbors alike can grab a coffee and pastry to go, or relax while sipping a martini.
Counter to the industrial, urban design so popular in recent years, The Marlton has a more urbane feel. French influences are evident throughout – in its original herringbone wood floors, brass fixtures, crown moldings, chicken wire closet doors, private marble bathrooms, and aura of refined elegance. In this solo hotel project, MacPherson designed the property entirely himself, and looked to the Paris depicted in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, as well as his own stays in that city’s Hôtel de Saints Pères and Hotel Ritz, as models for the baby grand hotel.
MacPherson’s properties, including The Bowery and The Maritime, have a track record of elevating the areas surrounding them, and West 8th Street will be no exception. The block is undergoing its own transformation, from a muddle of shoe stores and quick-change storefronts to a vibrant and cutting-edge retail and lifestyle hub. With Stumptown Coffee, and craft beer mecca The Growler Station all open or set to open shortly along with The Marlton, this long-neglected block is poised to become a major New York City destination once again. “The Marlton is a labor of love for me, and my hope is that it becomes an integral part of this revitalizing street. The rooms will be a sophisticated oasis in the heart of the historic Village, and I hope to see the common space become a sort of living room for the community.”
Like Rosemary’s “small hotel” in Tender is the Night, or the Hôtel de Saints Pères of MacPherson’s Left Bank memories, guests at The Marlton will feel a sense of discovery at the affordable elegance of the baby grand rooms, and the restaurant, Margaux, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be a little gem, a friendly neighborhood spot influenced by the cultures and cuisines of the southern and eastern Mediterranean, France and California. With an ethos of seasonality and healthy ingredients, the menu changes daily, offering the highest quality food and drink without pretense. The reimagined and redesigned elegant Parisian chic aesthetic of The Marlton will be a welcome addition to a Greenwich Village block that is just beginning to rediscover its charm.
Starting rates at $250.
About The Owners
Sean MacPherson is a co-owner of esteemed properties including The Bowery Hotel (including the restaurant, Gemma), The Jane Hotel, The Maritime Hotel (including La Bottega restaurant), The Waverly Inn, and The Lafayette House. Unlike most hoteliers, MacPherson designs, builds out, and operates all of his own properties. His hotels reflect an obsessive attention to detail and an appreciation of what makes travel experiences memorable. His partners in The Marlton are prolific hotel developers, Richard Born and Ira Drukier, who were responsible for NYC’s successful The Pod Hotel, The Greenwich Hotel, and the Mercer Hotel, among many others. MacPherson continues to operate two Swingers restaurants, Jones restaurant, The Pikey, El Carmen restaurant, Good Luck Bar, Bar Lubitsch, and Roger Room, all in Los Angeles, as well as The Crow’s Nest in Montauk. ￼
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