Home » Blog » Chronicles: The Ansonia

Chronicles: The Ansonia

Ansonia_apartments_LC-D4-17421_cropHotel, farm, luxury apartment building and bathhouse could all at one point have been used to describe 2109 Broadway, otherwise known as The Ansonia.
The Ansonia began as the dream of copper heir William Earle Dodge Stokes, who commission the architect Paul E. Duboy in 1899 to build his Utopian paradise- grand residential hotel with an array of tearooms, restaurants, a grand ballroom, Turkish baths, a lobby fountain with live seals and a rooftop farm to feed the whole building. Well the farm didn’t last long (nor did the seals we imagine), being shut down by the Board of Health in 1907, but the building has. Its 110ft long corridors are the widest in New York City and its turrets and balconies still make The Ansonia a highly desirable address… Though like many locations in 1960s, 70s and 80s New York, it did go through its share of growing pains.

In the mid-1900s, it was decided to subdivide the expansive apartments of The Ansonia into smaller units. With smaller units came a distinctively less stuffy crowd and in the 1960s, a gay bathhouse opened in the basement, which at one time functioned as a small market that sold the eggs from the rooftop farm. The bathhouse was known as the Continental Baths and last well into the 1970s. It is in this bathhouse that Bette Midler began her career with Barry Manilow accompanying her on the piano. In 1977, the bathhouse turned into Plato’s Retreat, a heterosexual swing club.
In 1992 however, The Ansonia returned to its former glory when it was sold off into condominiums. New residents bought up all the subdivided, small flats and returned them to their original, palatial proportions.
The Ansonia
2109 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

View Larger Map

Scroll To Top