In business from approximately 1904 to 1919 on East 32nd St. just off Madison Ave., the Hotel St. Louis is a "9-story and cellar brick, stone, modern fireproof family apartment hotel, containing 100 rooms and 50 baths" (as described in 1912 when put up for auction).
In Oct. 1912 the property was sold to P. A. Schuleman and leased to William R. McClellan. The furniture and lease was then sold in Feb. 1913 to Charles Morton Bellak and Harry Ward Doremus. Bellak and Doremus formed the Beldor Hotel Corp. and ran several small hotels in New York including the Ganoga (later the Oxford, then the Senton) at 35 E. 27th St., the Nobleton (126 W. 73), the Senton (originally 35 E. 27th, later 39 W. 27th), the Bristol (122 W. 49), the Madison (62 Madison Ave. & 21 E. 27 (2 entrances to same bldg.)), and the Hotel Rutledge for Women on Lexington Ave. at 30th St.
In 1917 an ad in the New York Times offered furnished apartments for $14 to $17.50 weekly at either the Hotel Senton, 35 East 27th, or the Hotel St. Louis, 34 East 32d St.
Charles Morton Bellak (b. 6 June 1882, Austria; d. 31 Oct. 1944, New York City) registered for the World War I draft in 1918 as "Proprietor Hotel Nobleton 126 West 73 St." This ad from 1918 cites Charles Morton Bellak as manager-director at the Hotel Nobleton. He lived at the time at this address. In 1922 Bellak, as president of the Bellak System of Hotels, bought the "thirteen story high-class modern apartment hotel, known as Fourteen East Sixtieth Street" (quoting New York Times, 13 June 1922, p. 38). According to the Times article he was at present operating the Hotel Colonial (Columbus Ave. at 81st St.), the Nobleton, the Hotel Ashton (Madison Ave. at 93rd St.), and the Rutledge. The Hotel Colonial is a 12-story apartment hotel built in 1903. Originally there was a Colonial Bank (estab. 1892) operating in its street level corner space. "The bank will occupy the ground floor in the new building, and safe deposits will be installed in the basement" (New York Times, 29 Nov. 1903, p. 24). In 1996 the lettering Colonial Bank could still be read over the doorway.
Harry Ward Doremus (b. 16 Sep. 1876, New Jersey) registered for the World War I draft in 1918 as "Proprietor and Manager Hotel 34 E. 32d St." He lived at the time at this address. He appears in the U. S. Census for 1930 as Harry W. Doremus, age 51, Manager, Hotel, living in the Hotel Madison, 21 E. 27th St.
In the early 1920s the Hotel St. Louis changed its name to the Hotel Grand Union.
The Hotel Grand Union continues to do business in this building (for 80-some years now!), all the while proudly displaying its earlier name on a side wall. In 1941 a double room at the Grand Union with bath and shower cost $10 to $12 weekly (click for ad). You can check current rates on their website at www.hotelgrandunion.com.
As of July 2007 the Hotel St. Louis sign is no longer visible due to new constuction next door.
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