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.