Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Hotel Columbia, Sharon Springs, NY


The first floor lounge of the Hotel Columbia.

A short walk from the Hotel Adler, its sister building in Sharon Springs, NY, stands the Hotel Columbia. Like the Adler, the Columbia primarily catered to New York City's Jewish population following the second World War. After the decline of the Borscht Belt region, much of the town catered in particular to Orthadox and Hasidic Jews; the Columbia was one of several hotels that did so, adapting all kitchen facilities to follow Kosher law, and removing the televisions from the establishment.

Unlike the Adler, the Columbia was primarily a long-term hotel; rooms were rented by the week (at an average of $140 per in 1977). Except for the tiny economy rooms on the top floor, every room came with a kitchen across the hall; guests of the hotel would be given keys to both. There was some light evening entertainment offered at the Columbia; noted Ukrainian dance musician Michael Skorr performed there for 18 consecutive summers. However, many guests would opt to head over to the Adler for the more elaborate comedy shows and vaudeville acts featured over there. Like the Adler, the Columbia shuttered its doors after the 2004 season; its fate remains in the air.


The main lobby & check-in area.


A typically narrow hallway within the building.


A standard two-bed room. The kitchen which accompanied this room is located across the hallway.


Each kitchen had two sink basins - one for meat and one for dairy, in keeping with Kosher law.


A detail of one of the kitchens.


The third story landing.


The end of one wing of the Columbia is sustaining significant water damage; a carpet of moss has grown in this third floor room.


The water damage has caused a partial ceiling collapse in this second-floor room, revealing rotting joists.


Like the Adler, many rooms in the Columbia had tacky wallpaper that must have looked dated by the 1970s, even though the hotel ran for decades after.


Most bathrooms did not include bathing facilities; there were communal baths in the center wing of the hotel.


Plenty of artifacts, like these blankets, remain, slowly moldering in this beautiful old building.

62 comments:

bekahb said...

This is such a beautiful striking new series!

reelybored said...

reely a big fan of your pics! you def know how to capture that mood!

Anonymous said...

Sharon springs is coming back one building at a time. thewellingtonhouse.com

Gayle said...

Beautiful photos again! The light is amazing. I love the pink glow in the room with the clashing, loud carpeting and wallpapers. Please post more!

TRB said...

The sofa in the first picture is killer. Great light all around — the light you capture and the light you shed.

Carla said...

I am in heaven. I have just found your blog and love your photos. This hotel would make the most wonderful fashion set and love your interior images. Do you mind if I ask what camera you used? Great work. so pleased to have found you. Carla

Water Damage Grants Pass said...

It's amazing how the hotel seems to be in good condition, except for the molds, you would never have thought it was abandoned!

Hotels Grants Pass said...

What are these patterns on the ceilings called?

Mark said...

What amazing photos you have here.

Tuga7 said...

Great work, nice mood, good series of photos. Congratulations.

Jen said...

What I find amazing is the plant by the check in counter appears to be alive still....

Among the Willows said...

Great post!!! Instant follow!!! Just came across it!!

come take a peek... http://aamongthewillows.blogspot.com/

meg <3

Anonymous said...

Your pictures speak a lot ! Great work.

buy bimatoprost online said...

Hey thanks for sharing such kind of post.

jluton said...

Love your work. I live in Milledgeville and work as a photographer and reporter at the local paper. Loved seeing the inside of Central State. Perhaps you could set up a mini exhibit somewhere here?

Hannah said...

Beautiful photographs but so sad. It's such a shame that places like these are forgotten and left to rot.

Hannah

The Lissst! said...

When I clicked on your blog I was going to skip it. I was thinking, "here's another boring fucking blog where someone just posts pictures."
After scrolling through and taking the time to look, I found myself saying "This is fucking amazing!"
seriosly! And the bowling alley...wow.
I'm glad I took the time to look.

Kelly said...

I just came across your blog. I am in awe of your photographs!!! Great job!! I am an instant follower.

Anonymous said...

These pictures are breath-taking. It is almost creepy to see life left behind in an old place, but you capture it perfectly. I could still see people bustling around in these photographs. I will continue to look for more of your work!

Anna said...

These pictures are breath-taking. It is almost creepy to see life left behind in an old place, but you capture it perfectly. I could still see people bustling around in these photographs. I will continue to look for more of your work!

Emily said...

These are great! Gosh I love photos of old, decrepit, and damaged items.

Pearson Report said...

Brilliant mate, brilliant!

Congrats on receiving the much coveted Blogs of Note distinction.

Well deserved!

LOST said...

WOW! amazing.. super liked it!!

Storm Wenger Chronicles said...

To this list of accolades I add my congratulations - your work is sensational, exciting, thrilling, stunning, sensory, spectacular, magnificent, splendid, and wonderful - you most assuredly deserve being a Blog of Note.

Lola

Veen said...

The hospital scenery were just so cool. some were scary looking but checking into the details would leave a viewer a deeper understanding. many emotions were portrayed. Liked it very much.

Người đẹp nóng bỏng said...

beautiful

A Daft Scots Lass said...

Your work is outstanding. I do not think I have seen work quite like it. You have such an eye for composition!

I'm certainly no photographer but I appreciate a beautifully put together image. Yours is the best I've seen in years!

Wonderful stuff. They had me changing my mood and feeling with each new image.

The Master Chef said...

What stunning shots. abandoned buildings always fascinates me and you captured it well.

Kristen said...

These photos are hauntingly beautiful. Stunning photographs.

Nikki said...

How do you manage to find so many neat places to take pictures??

Eri Raib said...

Wow. Love these photos - they are eerie, intriguing, and pull at your heart strings all at the same time. Bravo!

Anon Emous said...

Beautiful photos! Thanks for taking the time to document these old buildings that will no doubt soon disappear.

I too tried to document a hospital complex in Whitby, Ontario, that is today no longer. Some of the photos can be seen here. Most are exterior shots since most building were boarded up and I could not access the interiors.

I used the same set of photos and created a
dynamic slideshow
set to appropriate eerie music.

The Farmer's Daughter said...

great pictures. I especially like the picture of the overgrown window. Excellent colors!

Duncan D. Horne said...

Your photos are great and leave me feeling very curious. How did you get the facebook 'like' box on your blog?

www.duncaninkuantan.blogspot.com

lillyy said...

im a huge fan of your pics! all of them are so beautiful, great lighting and interesting places. lovelovelove

scriberess said...

So glad I came accross your photos. Absolutely fascinating - an encapsulated glimpse into the past of things that were, but are no more.

Angella Lister said...

you need to go to Detroit, where there are some grand once-stately buildings crumbling to dust. definitely worth documenting. your photography is stunning.

Rebecca Bany said...

Amazing!

madhyam said...

I just came across your blog. I am in awe of your photographs

Hence72 said...

these pictures are incredible = love your work

brittanypotts said...

Absolutely breathtaking.

Gabriel Esmurdoc said...

Wow, incredible and amazing, well, as an actor I admired the diferent spaces and alternative for some scenes, ,and I loved the Brookling theater, thnx

Aly said...

I recently found your work, and I absolutely love it.

It reminds me of the novel "Blindness" by José Saramago, telling of disintegration visible only to those who can't stop it.

Tamborine said...

These are amazing! I especially love the picture of the theater. I can't wait to see more.

Carri said...

These pictures are amazing...thank you for taking the time to compile them and to offer what history you have available as an accompaniment to the photos. Your photographic skills are incredibly evident as one peruses through the photos on your blog. Please don't stop - they are fascinating!

-Carri

www.wordynerdythirty.blogspot.com

Jinnah said...

Seriously fantastic pictures!!! Your pictures talk!

Shea Goff said...

wow.

NIBMUSICVIDEO said...

Amazing shots. the movie theatre is impressive

Michell said...

Very neat. I like your work and interest. Thank you for sharing.

the business layman said...

Wow, really love the photos. Great capture of mood.

autoguy said...

Great seeing all your stuff. Saw your post in the Opacity forum and am really enjoying your site.

Great shoot on this old hotel. Hopefully somebody will save those old tufted bedspreads some day, especially if they are the old hand made ones.

Susan said...

You really have a passion for these old buildings. I find it such a shame they are left to rot no matter what their past history has been. The craftsmanship in some of the stairwells you have photographed are really works of art. Thanks for helping to bring these buildings back to life for a second time.

Anonymous said...

i ran this hotel the last few year's it was in use, i grow up in Sharon springs its a beautiful plays still,

Steve said...

Thank you for the great pictures. It almost seems like I was there yesterday - worked from late June through Labor day for 3 years. I still remember that ugly green paint from the '60s. The kitchens must have been added in the '70s or later - there were none when I worked there in the late '60s. Everyone ate in the dining room on the first floor and we had full waiter service, 3 meals a day plus snacks. Food was a big thing for the guests and meals were several courses. Broasted chicken was a favorite. I can't remember what people payed to stay there, but the minimum stay was generally a week, with many staying longer. The owners then - the Bramsons - encouraged the staff to use the pool so it looked active - very few of the older folks would go in it. We enjoyed the swimming every afternoon. Yhe staff lived in the attic spaces - no A/C anywhere at it was very hot up there. In August we were allowed to move into some of the empty rooms as the season wound down.

Thanks again for the memories.

Buy RS Gold said...

Gorgeous images yet again! The lighting will be wonderful. I enjoy the white gleam inside the room with the clashing, loud carpets as well as wallpapers. Please article far more!

J Kennedy said...

I also worked at the Columbia in the late 60's.
I started as the tea girl, serving tea and cookies int eh agternoon and late in the evening after the entertainment. I "graduated to the dining room, we served three meals a day seven days a week. The average tip for the week was $5 for the server and $3 for the bus boy. I remember The owners and their lovely daughter , Benny the Band Leader, Margie the tempermental cook from "Meeami" and Alex the breakfast cook and prep master. Izzy the waiter on station 4.
They were good times
Thanks for the memorits
Thanks for the memories, I have ridden by but was interested to see you inside shots.

Anonymous said...

J Kennedy-

Please contact me at restonham@yahoo.com. I am pretty sure I worked with you and your husband for about 3 summers at the Columbia under the Bramsons - 65, 66 and 67. Sorry, can't remember your first names - too much time has passed.

Steve

Victor Rosenberg said...

I worked at The Columbia for 2 summers in the late 1950's as a waiter and bellhop with my best friend Lou. We stayed in an attic room in the hotel. We sold soda in the dining room, checked guests in and out, ran poker games for guests. Morris and his sister Ann Bramson owned the hotel. I taught guests the Cha-Cha in the ballroom shown in the first photograph. The memories are flooding back as I write these comments. I'm driving to Sharon Springs tomorrow to capture more memories on my camera so I can share them with my still best friend Lou!
Vic Rosenberg vrosenberg@verizon.net

Mark Rapoport said...

I worked as a busboy at the Columbia in the summer of 1964. I knew the Bramsons from Great Neck, NY, where they and my family both lived.They treated the staff very well (although living in the attic was not easy).

I had a serious crush on the young and lovely daughter, Marlene, who, I am sure, is now a bit older but still lovely.

i live in Viet Nam now, so I cannot easily drive by, but I might try when next in the US.

Kathryn said...

Your photos are beautiful. I went back there just this year and photographed. If you want to see it three years later, here is my site: www.KathrynNee.com

kavein walker said...

Thanks for your recommendation. I was also looking for
best party hotel in nyc as soon as possible. Please recommend the best results on party hotel venues.

Tribeca said...

Sure looks like one of the nicer hotels in NYC. Thanks for sharing!