Monday, August 25, 2008

Coney RetrObooth: Manhattan Beach Hotel

This photo from the George Eastman House Collection displays the grand beach front lawn that sprawled out from the magnificent Manhattan Beach Hotel in 1905. Just one of the few luxury hotels in Coney Island, the Manhattan Beach Hotel was a high class resort built in 1877. The Coney Island History Articles by Jeffrey Stanton writes:

August Corbin, a rich banker acquired title to the Manhattan Beach Hotel. It was built on the far eastern shore of Coney Island. Architect J. Pickering Putnam set its nearly 700 feet long front with its covered verandas and acres of manicured lawns facing the sea. It was considered the most elegant and fashionable hotel in the United States. It featured 258 lavish rooms, restaurants, ballroom and shops. When Ulysses S. Grant delivered the dedication speech for the hotel's grand opening on July 4, 1877 the event and the free fireworks show drew such huge crowds that it overwhelmed Corbin's railroad. And those who once thought that Corbin overpaid for the land changed their minds and pitied Littlejohn for selling so cheap.

Original photo courtesy of George Eastman House (

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