Art & Culture | History

The oldest continuously operating hotel in New York

Sohotel Oldest Hotel Nolita NYC

About Sohotel

 & why it made the Carpe City list

That exposed brick you see in your room isn’t just there for show… There has been a hotel at 341 Broome St. (a.k.a. 146-148 Bowery) since 1805. In fact, 341 Broome is on the National Register of Historic places. And when we say “historic,” we mean it! 1805 is really, really old in New York City. For example, the NYPD was founded in 1845, and the FDNY in 1865.

That Old New York spirit touched this building deeply. The Sohotel (then called the Occidental) served as headquarters for the larger-than-life Tammany Hall Boss: Big Tim Sullivan. Sullivan was hailed “King of the Bowery” and was an enormously powerful, enormously corrupt, and enormously beloved figure south of 14th Street.

Equal parts showman, crime boss, and member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Sullivan was powerful enough to have Kenmare Street named after his mother’s birthplace in Ireland!

Sohotel is a little larger than life, also. Its ground floor has a cocktail bar, a lounge, a spot for pulling craft pints, and both Mexican and Italian sit-down options.

Carpe City Trivia

Tell me more about Big Tim Sullivan!

Sullivan was a Tammany Hall Boss who held onto his power mainly through voter fraud. Still, he treated his constituents warmly, often finding food and clothing for the poor. In fact, his neighborhood Christmas dinners were legendary.

In addition to his ballot fixing, Sullivan had a thriving, legitimate business as a theater impresario. He also took a genuine interest in his role as a politician. In 1911, he authored a bill making it illegal to carry a gun without a permit in New York State. That bill is still on the books, and it's called "Sullivan's Law." Sullivan was also an earnest supporter of Women's Suffrage.

By: Lucie Levine

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