Barbizon Hotel to become a landmark?

From DNA info:

LOWER MANHATTAN — A campaign to protect the former Barbizon Hotel for Women reached the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday.

The Upper East Side building, located at 140 E. 63rd St., was built in 1927 as a residence for single women looking to begin careers in the Big Apple.

Up-and-coming stars Grace Kelly, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minnelli and Candice Bergen all passed through the 700-room apartment complex, as did celebrated writers Joan Didion and Sylvia Plath, who used a fictionalized version of the hotel in her acclaimed novel “The Bell Jar,” according to Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Executive Director Tara Kelly.

“Its residents were largely made up of aspiring models and actresses, who paid as little as $12 a week for nine-foot by twelve-foot cubicles,” Kelly explained during a speech to the commission, explaining the Barbizon’s significance.

“[It was] one of the earliest residential alternatives for women looking to take advantage of the new professional opportunities in New York City during the 1920s.”

Ed Kirkland, of the Historic Districts Council, also took the opportunity to praise the Barbizon’s cultural and architectural importance.

“Years of records — magazines, newspapers and books of all kinds, whether factually or fictionally based — have given the Barbizon a kind of floating identity on the East Side,” Kirkland said. “Buildings like this should be preserved.”

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Posted Under: LPC, Proposed, The Politics of Preservation, Upper East Side

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