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The Bellevue (Bellevue-Stratford Hotel)

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Bellevue-Stratford Hotel
1902–1905, G. W. and W. D. Hewitt; 1978 restored, Hyman Myers of Day and Zimmerman. 200 S. Broad St.

The Bellevue marked the maturation of Broad Street into the twentieth-century center of the new downtown. Designed in the François I Style for prominent hotel operator George Boldt, then manager of New York City's Waldorf-Astoria, it transformed the urban hotel to the vast scale of the skyscraper. The Bellevue became the premier business and social hotel of the city, offering the then unusual features of bathrooms with every bedroom—signaled on the exterior by the tiny windows alternating with the generous bays of the guest chambers. The roof-level Rose Garden and terraces were the glamorous sites of urban entertainment providing views of the glittering electricity-lit city spreading out in all directions.

The first floor lobbies, ornamented with scagiola-clad columns and mosaic floors, mark the new luxuries of urban hotels later imitated by Henry Hardenberg's Plaza Hotel in New York City. The hotel's unfortunate brush with fame as the site of the first case of Legionnaires’ disease in 1976 led to its closure. Restoration followed but it was later further adapted with retail at the base, offices in the mid-levels, and a luxury hotel on the upper floors. Michael Graves's Miami-tinted garage and sporting club (1986) serves the hotel on the south side.

Writing Credits

Author: 
George E. Thomas
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Citation

George E. Thomas, "The Bellevue (Bellevue-Stratford Hotel)", [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/PA-02-PH56.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 89-89.

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