Nick Eglevsky
Photo: 1939-41,  NYC Department

The Keller Hotel was constructed in 1897-98 to the Renaissance Revival style design of Julius Munckwitz. He was Supervising Architect and Superintendent of Parks in New York City and maintained an architectural practice in Harlem. Most of the buildings that Munckwitz designed have been demolished. The building was built by William Farrell, a prominent coal merchant. The hotel was operated by several proprietors including Fritz Brodt, who had a contract with the United States government to provide food to immigrants at Ellis Island. The hotel was located near ferry and transatlantic cruise ship docks where thousands of visitors arrived. By at least 1935, it housed transient sailors.

The building is currently vacant, but the interior is being altered to convert the upper floors to residential use. The building has two cast-iron storefronts at the ground floor of the West Street façade, which feature a continuous cornice and columns with a stylized floral design at the capitals. The upper floors are constructed of brick with stone trim and feature a restrained use of classical and Renaissance-inspired ornament. It is one of the last surviving turn-of-the-century Hudson River waterfront hotels. The building, situated along the Hudson River, is a significant reminder of the era when the Port of New York was one of the world’s busiest and the section of the Hudson River between Christopher and 23rd Streets was the heart of the busiest section of the Port of New York.