Reflecting a decorative and eclectic blend of Italian Renaissance, Gothic and Islamic influences, the 23-story Barbizon Hotel represents one of the earliest residential alternatives for women moving to New York City to take advantage of the new professional opportunities of the 1920s. Young women began leaving the traditional family home in search of career opportunities brought on by the era's economic expansion. The Barbizon provided a refuge for many of these women, and its owners sought to create an environment that reinforced the values of the families from which the women had come. Codes of Conduct and Dress were enforced, no men were allowed above the lobby floor, and prospective tenants needed three letters of recommendation to be considered.
Despite these apparent constraints, the Barbizon later hosted many social, intellectual and athletic activities and, and in recent years attracted a variety of famous tenants, including entertainers Grace Kelly, Candice Bergen and Liza Minnelli. The Barbizon was also active in promoting women's organizations, providing meeting space to groups such as the National Junior League, the Arts Council of New York, and the Wellesley College Club. Today, the Barbizon operates as a standard hotel.
The Barbizon Hotel in the 1920s
Photographs courtesy of the Barbizon Hotel.
The Barbizon Hotel for Women is located at 140 East 63rd St. in New York City, NY. The public is welcome to explore the newly renovated building. If you would like to stay at the Barbizon, call 1-800-223-5652 for more information.
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