They don’t make student digs like this any more – what is now The High Line Hotel in New York City was built in 1894 as accommodation for theology students, complete with a pretty quadrangle in which to sit and ponder the mysteries of life and the afterlife. Going back even further to the 17th Century, the site, in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, was an apple orchard belonging to the author of ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, who wrote the ditty among the fruit trees.
It’s the seminary era that informs the look of the present hotel though, maintaining not just the brick frontage and quad, but stained glass windows, pine floors and fireplaces. Vintage look wallpaper, electronics and even Bakelite effect wall sockets all contribute to the period charm. Like many of The Big Apple’s hippest, retro-influenced spots, irrepressible design duo Roman and Williams can take the credit for spearheading the renovation work.
The hotel development has come about on the back of the ineffable success of the High Line project, converting a raised stretch of disused train line into a park running through the Lower West Side. The High Line Hotel makes full use of its great location, enjoying direct access to the park at the 20th Street entrance, offering guests not only a great view of the city, but a rare bit of New York greenery right on the doorstep.