Hostelling International New York City
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

This stately Victorian Gothic brick building served as "The Association for the Relief of Respectable, Aged and Indigent Females" from 1883-1968. It is one of the last remaining Richard Morris Hunt buildings in New York City. Hunt is the famed architect of a myriad long-demolished Fifth Avenue mansions, as well as the Biltmore estate in North Carolina, and mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. After the building was abandoned as a home for elderly women, it became derelict, and the City proposed razing it in the 1970s. Columbia University historic preservation students and concerned neighbors were able to protect it by getting the building on the National Register, and, eventually, it became a New York City Landmark. According to the NYC Landmarks Commission, fewer than twenty of the seventy-five Hunt designed buildings erected in New York City still survive.

The building was adapted for reuse by neighbors working with the City of New York and Hostelling International (HI.) Since 1990, the site has served as the largest youth hostel in the Americas, and is a global and community-based institution with a focus on sustainable tourism and neighborhood programming. HI NYC is an educational non-profit, and won the Signature Award for Sustainable Practices from the Hotel Association of New York in February 2017. HI NYC is a member of the World Tourism Organization in the UN. Come learn more about this building, its adaptation, and its cultural education mission.

Saturday Tour Info: Tours at 2:15, 3:45, and 5pm will feature private spaces normally left to hostel guests, including a secret apartment! (1 hr)

Access Notes: Wheel chair accessible in certain areas. We have an elevator but it is very slow.


Image credit: Paul Lindberg