A slender downtown architectural beauty, the historic former Hotel Bray at 1114 Baltimore Ave., is a nine-story building, 25-feet wide and 125 feet deep, and is wedged between the Hotel Phillips and the Italian Garden garage on Baltimore.
The Jacobethan-style brick building, which is capped by a decorative terra cotta double gable, opened in 1915 as the Hotel Bray. In 1947, after extensive remodeling, it was rechristened as Pusateri’s Hotel New Yorker. It was renovated again in the mid 1990s as an extended stay hotel before eventually being converted to modern loft apartments and reopening as The New Yorker in 2018.
Below is a 360° “tour” (two separate 360° pictures) of the Hotel Bray/ New Yorker ghost signs and area… clicking on the arrows allows you to move left and right. Use your mouse to look up, look down, look all around… and zoom in or out. The vertical Hotel Bray signs on the Northeast and Southeast corners of the building date some time from 1915 to 1949… the painted sign on the Northwest side of the building dates from 1949
I was able to determine what the ghost sign originally looked like via the transcripts of a 1949 court case of the New Yorker Hotel Corporation v. Pusateri et al. The lawsuit claimed damages from Pusateri for using the name Hotel New Yorker. An excerpt from the filing reads… “The building immediately to the north of the defendants’ nine story hotel building is a one story structure, thus leaving most of the side of defendants’ building exposed to view, and along the side thereof, near the top, defendants, at the time of the opening, had caused to be painted in large letters, the words “Hotel New Yorker.” …. at the time the change…. thus making this sign also read: “H O T E L NEW YORKER Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge Completely Air Conditioned”
The image below on the left shows what the building looks like today… on the right what Pusateri’s Hotel New Yorker might have looked like in 1949
The case ended in a judgement against the plaintiff (New Yorker Hotel Corp), but not without some interesting testimony that gives great insight to KC history…. “In its effort to show that defendants may operate their hotel in such manner as to reflect upon its good name, plaintiff attacks the reputation of defendants. Defendant James Pusateri admitted that they illegally sold intoxicating liquor in their restaurants during prohibition. Plaintiff also sought to show that defendant Gus Pusateri, who did not testify, has been convicted of violating the liquor law. The offer was denied on the ground that the conviction was more than sixteen years ago during the “dry era.”“
Here is a link to a Google Tour of the ghost signs with “Points of Interest” that link to more information about the art, architecture and history of the surrounding area. Click on the photo to take the tour… or just click the link below!