Claremont Inn Historical Plaque
The Claremont Inn was first built in 1804 and was located along the Hudson River, just north of where Grant’s Tomb stands today until its demise in 1951. For years, a succession of aristocrats lived in the house, including Joseph Bonaparte, ex-King of Spain and Napoleon’s brother. In the 1840s it was converted into a “road house” and in the 1870s, the building was acquired by the City as part of Riverside Park. The inn’s heyday lasted until the 1920s, with visitors and shoppers stopping at the inn for expensive luncheons. With Prohibition, however, the Claremont’s popularity declined.
Only in the 1930s was the Claremont Inn resurrected when it was “re-invented as a more reasonably priced restaurant championed by the people’s mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia, and overseen by his Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses” (westsiderag). 1200 people attended the Inn’s re-opening on May 30, 1934. In October of that year, Moses himself mentioned the renovation of the Inn in a memo celebrating the successes of the CWA and later TERA programs he was overseeing for the Parks Department.
The Inn thrived throughout the 1930s and early 1940s, but by the late 1940s, its popularity was waning. In 1951, “as the demolition of the building by the city was beginning, a fire started when the coals of a watchman’s hand-warming barrel ignited the old structure. The little that was left was torn down” (westsiderag).
Today, a playground sits at the site, and a plaque commemorates the classic Claremont Inn.
The Claremont Inn: A Lost Treasure on the Banks of the Hudson, West Side Rag Department of Parks, Press Release, October 29, 1934 What remains of Manhattanville’s Claremont Inn - Ephemeral New York
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on January 30, 2017.
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