153 Lincoln Place has always been a peaceful establishment, but it used to have something to conceal. Now luxury condos, the building used to be a local brothel.
Well known as a place hookers brought their Johns, the Park Slope Hotel charged by the hour and was often given the amusing task of turning away those who believed it to be a legitimate hotel. Many, it would seem, were duped by the establishment’s title and orderly management, only to be refused when they went to inquire about rates.
And yet, for all the local accusations of “whorehouse,” the Brooklyn vice squad has no records of arrests at the hotel (although a woman was found strangled in an upstairs room in 1999).
Upon renovation, the mystery of the interior was finally solved. Inside, the hotel had 26 rooms, each equipped with shower, sink, and a now-non-standard size of bed. Some rooms were painted red, some were wood-paneled, all had black blinds, most had condoms lying on the floor, and in one room was a Canada Dry soda machine from the 1940s. In the backyard there were needles. The basement was covered with purple and gold wallpaper and filled with old things, including 78 r.p.m. records and a Victrola record player.
Today, no doubt residents continue to have sex in the building, but alas, without the same illegal charm.
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Only in Queens: Tasting Our Way Through New York’s Most Diverse Borough
Manhattan may have name-brand recognition and Brooklyn a certain cachet, but Queens is the city’s largest and most diverse borough. Join us, May 17–20, to dig into Queens’ rich neighborhood life.