One week from today, 446 Columbus Avenue will become the site of a friendly fiesta to celebrate 75 years of a West Side MVP (that’s “Most Valuable Preservationist”): Arlene Simon!

Before “La Noche Cubana” takes over next Thursday, January 19, let’s get to know the venue a bit better, shall we? 
446 Columbus Avenue, the Hotel Endicott, photographed
in 1990 at the time of its designation in the
Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District.
446 Columbus Avenue is also known as the Hotel Endicott.  Now, as diligent preservationists, we wouldn’t normally settle for citing Wikipedia as a source, but when a bibliography basically includes all New York Times mentions of a building since 1902, we can’t help ourselves! 
The original hotel was built by Charles A. Fuller and designed by [architect] Edward L. Angell, who also designed several other prominent buildings on the Upper West Side*. The hotel was originally intended to be an apartment house, the Endicott. The original plans filed in April 1889 called for two buildings, each with 44 families and seven stories high. But the initial plans were not approved by the Building Department. After several changes to the plans, the Endicott began construction in 1889 at a cost of over $1,500,000. The first building on 81st Street for 52 families was finished in 1890; the second building on 81nd street for 72 families opened in 1891. 
“When the hotel opened, it was described as “in all respects, the finest and best appointed in this part of the city.” The Hotel was built of Pompeian brick and terra cotta and boasted many modern marvels of its day including steam heat, lighting by its own electric plant, and good ventilation. The original decor was elaborate, sporting marble tile and onyx wainscoting. The original hotel included a glass-roofed Palm Room (pictured below) … “
The original Palm Court in the Hotel Endicott, 1907.
Courtesy of Robert C. Quinlan.
Which brings us back to “La Noche Cubana”.  Our birthday bash for Arlene Simon will take place in what was originally the Hotel Endicott’s light-filled Palm Court.  Until recently the space had been home to the restaurant Calle Ocho.  The aura of the “Land of Spirit” lingers on, and is the inspiration for our own Cuban-themed festivities.

“La Noche Cubana” would not be possible without the generous donation of space by the building’s owner, Robert C. Quinlan.  Rather than let the location sit unused and vacant, as 446 Columbus Avenue awaits a new tenant, Mr. Quinlan has opened the doors to LW! for our event.  Talk about creative dedication to ones community and to celebrating neighborhood preservation!
*Search and discover more buildings by Edward L. Angell in the LW! Online Buildings Database!
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