The Palatine Hotel: Gone but not Forgotten

Newburgh Free Library

When you think of fancy, historic, New York hotels you might think of the Waldorf Astoria or the St. Regis Hotel, but would you ever think a hotel in Newburgh could hold up to their caliber of class? Well, the Palatine Hotel sure did. George Henry Gazley, a man born in 1869 in Dutchess County got his start at the Palatine Hotel as assistant manager. He then moved to work in the Waldorf Astoria, and then serve as manager of the St. Regis Hotel. Later on he promoted the construction of the finest, safest, and most modern hotel anywhere outside New York City in 1909- Hotel La Salle of Chicago. He served as general manager, secretary, and director. Why bring up Mr. Gazley? To show how his training in the Palantine Hotel paved the way for a successful career in the country’s top hotels.

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Maybe Mr. Gazley?
Newburgh Historical Society
Images of America, Kevin Barrett 
Palatine Hotel Newburgh
Library of Congress
©Detroit Publishing Company, 1906

Most Newburghers know of the existence of the Palatine Hotel. But do you know about it’s history? Don Herron wrote an insightful article on the Palatine Hotel from which the following information comes from.

On July 6, 1893 the Palatine Hotel opened, which solidified Newburgh as a major city. The Newburgh Sunday Telegram wrote on July 9, 1893: “Resplendent with brilliancy, everything new, spic and span, throngs of handsome and stylishly attired ladies in attendance accompanied by chivalrous escorts, Newburgh’s handsome Palatine Hotel was auspiciously opened in a blaze of glory on Thursday night, and a gala and memorable event it proved, too.”

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1909, Newburgh Free Library

The hotel had 116 rooms of which 58 could be turned into private suites with a bath. People would take the 60 mile drive up along the Hudson from New York City to spend the night at the Palatine, and return to New York City the next day. Newburghs many theaters also attracted droves of people to the city, including the many performers who performed in productions. Many New York City Broadway shows premiered in Newburgh. Some of the Barrymore clan would stay in the Palatine including Drew Barrymore’s father, John Drew Barrymore. Thomas Edison, and New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia were some famous guests.

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After the Great Depression, the Palatine began to decline. With time the city began to deteriorate and this sealed the Palatines fate. In 1970 after years of neglect the hotel was demolished in an urban renewal project that razed more than 2,000 structures in Newburgh. It stood 77 years. Today there is just the lawn of the Newburgh Free Library. The City Club which stood shoulder to shoulder with the Palatine is still in existence, even though it is only a shell. There is still hope that there might be plans for the structure in the future.

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City Club next to boarded up Palatine Hotel, Library of Congress

The Palatine Shop pays homage to the Palatine settlers from where the name originated from, by dedicating a section of their shop to selling antiques and memorabilia of Newburghs past.

As mentioned by Times Herald writer Alan Strauber, “Newburgh’s illustrious history should be widely publicized, celebrated and discussed. The time to start is now….We must continue to bear in mind that Newburgh is a world-class center of 19th-century American architecture and landscape design.” It is imperative to look toward the future of Newburgh to make sure that the structures that are still in existence today do not becomes memories of the past.

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Palatine Dining Room
Newburgh Historical Society
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Palatine Dining Room
Newburgh Historical Society
Images of America, Kevin Barrett
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Newburgh Skyline with Palatine Hotel far left
Almost all of these buildings were demolished during urban renewal
Newburgh Free Library
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Palatine Hotel Mascot, “Gyp”
Newburgh Historical Society
Images of America, Kevin Barrett

 

10 Comment

  • I love this building- it's my favorite of all of the the ones Newburgh had.. I actually saw something on Broadway that reminded me of the the Palatine and was just writing something up about it!

  • I have to say, that dog is awesome!

  • My great-grandfather, Floyd E. Quick, was a barber at the Palatine Hotel in the 30’s and probably early 40’s. I was wondering if there might be any pictures of him as I would love to see them.

  • Wow. The hotel is beautiful! Why did they knock that down?

  • My family owned the Palatine Hotel from the early 1950s thru mid 1960s. Directly across the street was the court house and directly across (north) from the court house was my dad`s law office . I have many wonderful memories as a young girl of parties,delicious dinners and the special way I felt knowing our family owned the Palatine.

  • My grandparents were from Newburgh. Im lucky that their past was so important to them. My grandfather was given a marble piece from the inside of the hotel after it was demolished. It was made into a small table which now sits in a special room of my home. There is also a tile with a picture of the hotel on it in black and white which I’ve hung by the table. Great article!

  • Where exactly was this hotel what street number was it what is there now

  • I was born and grew up in Newburgh on Third Street, but have been living in Florida for many years.
    I collect restaurant ware and recently came across a soup bowl made by Scammell Trenton China which is bottom marked “Washington Hotel Newburgh, N.Y.”
    Was this hotel also known as The Palatine Hotel?
    Any information on this topic that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
    Linda Byrne

    • There is a map online at https://www.cityofnewburgh-ny.gov/sites/newburghny/files/u97/newburghheritagemap.pdf that describes the Hotel Washington. Quote: “Hotel Washington, 84-86 First Street Dedicated
      and formally opened in June of 1930, the Hotel
      Washington became the mainstay of government
      officials, powerful corporate bigwigs, and the wealthy
      with 148 elegant rooms. The original name was Hotel
      Newburgh, but the public was asked for names and
      of the 1,026 entries, 367 mentioned Washington,
      and 76 actually offered Hotel Washington, with
      the original name getting only 14 endorsements. Now Hudson Pointe
      Apartments for seniors.”

      • >>> The original name was Hotel Newburgh,<<<

        I think the Hotel Newburgh was at 111 Broadway, in the same building as the Ritz Theater. The Newburgh is now the Cornerstone Residence, a subsidized rental SRO. Although it is possible the Washington was also at one point named Hotel Newburgh, the space that became the Ritz Theater was constructed in 1914 (source Cinema Treasures). Therefore, it might have been unusual for a Hotel in the Ritz building to have taken a rejected moniker to rename itself so many years after its presumed opening.