Designation Testimony

Testimony for Proposed Hotel Cecil & Minton’s Playhouse Building Individual Landmark

LP-2671 – 

Hotel Cecil & Minton’s Playhouse Building – 206 West 118th Street (aka 150-158 St. Nicholas Avenue, 206-212 West 118th Street)

Item to be heard

A five-story Renaissance Revival style hotel built 1895-96, where the legendary Harlem jazz club Minton’s Playhouse flourished for more than three decades.

As the citywide advocate for New York’s architectural, historical and cultural neighborhoods, HDC enthusiastically supports the designation of the Hotel Cecil & Minton’s Playhouse Building as an individual landmark.

This beautiful Renaissance Revival hotel building stands out not only as a birthplace of modern Jazz, but also as a sensitive and laudable example of adaptive reuse and supportive housing. While we know the LPC does not regulate use, we need to feature more examples like this where historic buildings are part of the housing solution. 

Minton’s Playhouse, housed in the building,  served as a “rendezvous spot for Jazz musicians,” and brought together such talents as Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, who pioneered new styles of music after WWII.

This building’s owners have long recognized its extraordinary history. For example, this building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, and the building is currently home to a jazz club restaurant called Minton’s Playhouse. 

Beyond recognizing this building’s outstanding cultural history, HDC hopes that LPC will also recognize and support this building as a noteworthy example of adaptive reuse and supportive housing.

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