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New York City's Largest Hotel Was Once--Gasp--in Brooklyn

September 19, 2012 at 4:13 PM | by | ()

The year was 1949 and the largest hotel in New York City wasn't near Times Square, or Grand Central Station or even Wall Street. It's the St. George Hotel, a behemoth of a building, boasted over 2,600 rooms and a "world famous" saltwater swimming pool, the largest indoor one in the US at the time. Where's it at, you ask? Brooklyn, baby.

Brownstoner dug up a slew of similarly intriguing facts about this property, which once was quite the landmark for travelers seeking "moderately priced" accommodation in a city that's been known for its tippy-top nightly rates since, well...ever:

The Hotel St. George had: 'the largest private incinerator in the world – capacity 26 tons daily, 73 ventilating fans – circulating 8 million cubic feet per minute, over 6,000 windows, 7 1/2 miles of corridors and 21 elevators, over 66,000 electric bulbs, 20,000 chairs, 61,000 sheets, 560,000 pillowcases and 655,000 pieces of table linen. The silverware alone in the St. George cost over $450,000. The St. George is a good sized city in itself. It can seat and serve food in its cafes and eating places to 10,000 at one time.'

These days it's no longer operating as a hotel, but the building and its art deco architecture stand protected as a National Landmark. And, until we came across this old postcard, we would never have guessed that a Brooklyn hotel would have claimed such superlatives over swank Manhattan hotels. That is until now, now that the recent crop of "cool" hotels are giving Brooklyn back its hospitality swagger.

[postcard scans: HotelChatter]

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