Historic Hotels in New York City

Shelton Hotel - 525 Lexington Avenue


The New York Marriott East Side is a 34-floor hotel located at 525 Lexington Avenue, between East 48th St. and East 49th Street, Midtown Manhattan, near Grand Central Station, Rockefeller Center and the United Nations Headquarters. It opened in 1924 as The Shelton. In March 2020, it was temporarily closed. Later it became  a student housing facility.

On May 5, 1922, the New York Times announced it would be a 30-story bachelor apartment hotel and the operation would be undertaken by the Shelton Holding Corporation, of which James T. Lee [grandfather of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis] was the president. The site was formerly owned by International Sporting Club.

The 34-story building (387 feet high) was designed by architect Arthur Loomis Harmon (1878-1958), originally with 1,200 bedrooms. The details on the exterior were in various styles, including North Italian, Romanesque and Early Christian. Harmon, who also designed the Allerton House at 143 East 39th Street and other iconic buildings in New York, was awarded the Architectural League of New York Medal Award of 1925 for this design. In 1977, Ada Louise Huxtable, from the New York Times and Pulitzer Prize-winner, recognized The Shelton as a landmark New York skyscraper.

It housed many sports facilities such as gymnasium, bowling alley, swimming pool, squash courts and billiard tables. It was said to be a "club hotel". In April 1924, the Shelton housed matches for the world's squash tennis championship.

The hotel opened to women later in 1924 and there was ladies' room. By the 1940s, it was officially referred as Shelton Hotel and George E. Thompson was the manager. In 1971, the hotel was closed to transient guests and, in 1979, it reopened after renovations as Halloran House. In 1990, Marriott Hotels & Resorts took over the hotel as operator. In 2005, the building was acquired by Morgan Stanley and, after renovations, it was sold to Ashkenazy Acquisition and Deka Immobilien. Later, the hotel was sold to Lexington Avenue Hotel LP. Hawkins Way Capital and Värde Partners bought the building in early 2023 and renovated it into a student housing facility,




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Lexington hotel construction




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Above, The Shelton in a vintage postcard (Eagle Post Card Co.), postmark 1928.


Lexington Avenue


Below, detail around roof-garden of the Shelton (photo published in Architecture, April 1924).


Shelton Hotel


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The lower two floors, at Lexington Avenue and 49th Street, were laid out not for average hotel requirements, but as much as possible to meet those of a club. The lobby is small and the office much subordinated (photo published in Architecture, April 1924).


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The Shelton under construction in June 1923 (photo published in Architecture, April 1924).


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Roof garden


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