12/19/12

The Former Hotel Madrid

Brooklyn, before the Second World War, was a thriving city and tourist mecca, with hotels for every budget.

When the Hotel Madrid, designed as a Mediterranean villa, with corner towers, tile roofs and Juliet balconies, opened on the corner of 4th Avenue and 84th Street in Bay Ridge in 1926, it was advertised as a luxury hotel on a par with the St. George or the Bossert in Brooklyn Heights.

Just before World War II, the Gregorius family bought the Madrid and re-named it the Hotel Gregory. Still Bay Ridge's most luxurious motel, the Gregory hosted celebrities, weddings, clubs, social events and respectable family and business guests.

Although it survived Brooklyn's declining “suburban years” (the '50s through the ’70s) the Gregory was gutted by a huge fire in 1983.  Sometime after that, the Sunburst Hospitality Company bought the burned-out hulk and re-opened it as the Comfort Inn Gregory, which closed in 2002.

In 2003, Best Western bought the building, and has run it since as the Best Western Gregory.

Stripped of all architectural detail interstate motel-style, the Best Western Gregory acquired a grisly reputation in 2008 as the scene of two suicides and a murder.

Now that things have been quiet for a while -- and Brooklyn's cachet as a tourist destination has grown -- business at the Gregory has picked up again.

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