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Articles - 1960s

The Stacy-Trent Hotel
The following are articles from the 1960s that reference the Stacy-Trent.

City Joining Campaign to ‘Save Stacy’

The Trentonian, July 17, 1963

 

   The city yesterday jumped on the “Save the Stacy-Trent” bandwagon.

   But like the County Freeholders, Mayor Holland and the City Councilmen gave no immediate indication what moves might be made to help the city’s largest hotel out of its financial troubles.

   A joint statement declaring that the city “wants to do whatever properly can be done to assist this essential public facility . . . It is difficult to imagine our community life without such a place.”

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Noma Trenton Unit Moves to Stacy Trent

The Trentonian, September 28, 1963

 

   The Trenton Chapter of the National Office Management Association will move to the Hotel Stacy-Trent Wednesday night, Oct. 16, to help the “save-the-hotel” campaign now under way.

   Walter Breyer, NOMA president, said the move has been endorsed by the association’s membership as evidence of NOMA’s interest in community affairs.

   Some years ago, NOMA met regularly at the Hotel Hildebrecht.  When the hotel was remodeled it was decided to try meeting at various restaurants.  Breyer pointed out that the March meeting has also been scheduled at the Stacy-Trent.

   “In scheduling our meetings at the Stacy-Trent Hotel, we feel that we are contributing to a very important community undertaking,” a spokesman said.

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Stacy-Trent Guests Told Hotel Service Will End March 1

  - City Left Without A Hotel -

Trenton Times, February 3, 1965

 

   Trenton will be left without a major midtown hotel when the Stacy-Trent Hotel shuts down most services March 1.

   All permanent residents reportedly have been asked to leave the 44-year-old Trenton landmark and the restaurant and other services will be closed.

   The closing of the hotel will leave this capital city without a major meeting and convention place.  The Chamber of Commerce and several other businesses and organizations will keep offices at the hotel, at least temporarily.

   The hotel long has been the city’s main center for public gatherings, civic club luncheons, meetings of State officialdom, galas related to such events as Gubernatorial Inaugurations and other functions.  It has been plagued by financial problems for many years.

   Arthur Teich, Trenton lawyer named receiver more than a year ago by Federal Referee in Bankruptcy Joseph Fishberg, has determined that continued losses in operation cannot continue if creditors are to be protected.

   Purchase of the hotel property by a Trenton area financial group, Cherry Tree Lane Inc., is under negotiation before Judge Fishberg.  Option funds have been deposited, but the transaction may not be completed before early Summer.

   Raises Questions

   The closing of services at the hotel raised a question of permanent future quarters for such permanent commercial tenants as the Greater Trenton Chamber of Commerce, The Republican State Committee, Hornblower & Weeks—Hemphill Noyes brokerage office, James M. Burke’s New Jersey Legislative News and Radio Station WAAT.

   While Teich was engaged in a public utility hearing in Newark and could not be reached for exact answers on the future of these tenants, Robert K. McPherson, hotel manager, said a plan to continue light and heat and maintenance and watchman services may be worked out.

   In that event, these commercial occupants would not have to find new locations.

   A number of leading citizens and businessmen, learning of the closedown, expressed regret.  The Stacy-Trent has been a mecca for major community events and organization meetings since it was built in 1921.

   It has had a varied career of financial problems and ownership changes.  Trenton’s leading businessmen and civic leaders were instrumental in its original financing and construction in 1922.

   “The problem is not of beds,” the Mayor added.  “It is a question of supplying central meeting places, which the Stacy-Trent and the Hildebrecht Hotel have always managed to be.

   “What this city needs is a large banquet hall with convention parking, preferably at no cost; an auditorium such as Graham Associates (Trenton Mall developers) proposed to link to a hotel (South Warrant Street), with an adequate number of various sized meeting rooms.”

   The Mayor also noted the opening recently of motels in the city with prospect that more may loate here.

   Teich sent a letter to the permanent room guests, expressing “deep regret” the hotel services would suspend March 1.  He said he would hold personal conferences with the tenants on the situation.

   “We have done our utmost to keep the hotel operating,” his letter added, “but its uncertain future necessitated this decision.  We are considering the possibility of continuing the commercial tenants although the hotel area will be closed.”

   McPherson emphasized that the hotel would continue full services through Sunday, February 28.

   He said the operating staff also had been advised of the March 1 closedown.

   “A shutdown operation is pretty hard to restore,” commented G. Alfred Hess, president of the greater Trenton Chamber of Commerce.  “I’m pretty upset about the hotel closing.”

   “This is unfortunate for the city,” Hess said.  “I think that if the firm that has the option on the hotel had any interest in continuing the hotel operation, it would have stepped in and done something to keep the hotel open.”

   Hess said he heard of the hotel closing yesterday.  He said “it is understood, but not definitely known, that the rented offices such as the ones the Chamber rents would be maintained.”

   Albert Kahn, counsel to Cherry Tree Lane Inc., noted that his clients were still in a legal

   There are two motels in downtown Trenton.  The Midtown on East State Street near Clinton has 60 units; the brand-new Imperial 400 on South Broad Street, 51.

   The Midtown plans to add 75 new units beginning in March and owner David Katz said today they should be ready by Labor Day.

   Katz said the city is badly in need of 150 new hotel or motel units as well as meeting facilities.

   “The city is going to find itself in an embarrassing situation,” he said.

   Preliminary plans for the John Fitch Way commercial area call for a hotel of at least 200 rooms.  There had been other motel outfits interested in the city but they all reportedly have changed their plans because of Trenton’s high taxes.

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Stacy-Trent To Shut Down on March 1

The Trentonian, February 4, 1965

 

   The bankrupt Stacy-Trent Hotel, a tattered dowager in an era of “Miami Modern” motels and chrome-plated motor inns, will close its doors March 1 and the city will be without a staging area for major functions.

   The hotel’s future is uncertain.  It remains closely interwoven with the needs of the state for additional office space.

   Arthur Teich, who was named receiver of the hotel when it went into bankruptcy, confirmed yesterday that the hotel’s 12 permanent residents have been notified of the closing.  As of March 1, he said, the hotel’s 250 other rooms for guests will be closed, along with the bar and other dining facilities.  There is a possibility, Teich said, that the garage will continue to operate.

   $30,000 Deposit

   Although Cherry Tree Lane Inc. has deposited $30,000 on an option to purchase the hotel, its sale and subsequent renovation hinges on fruitful negotiations with the state.  This confirmed yesterday afternoon by Albert B. Kahn, Cherry Tree Lane’s attorney.

   The key, Kahn said, is a long-term lease with the state for the hotel’s upper three floors.  If such a lease can be negotiated, he said, than his clients will “completely renovate” the bottom five floors, converting the hotel into a “motor hotel.”  This has been Cherry Tree Lane’s stated aim ever since it came into the picture some 18 months ago.

   The closing order also means that some 50 hotel employees, a hardcore remnant, will be let go.  The status of the hotel’s commercial tenants was uncertain.

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Stacy-Trent Gasps Last Feeble Breath

  - Doors Close Today -

By Tim Colt

The Trentonian, March 1, 1965

 

   The Stacy-Trent Hotel, 44, of 51 W. State St., died yesterday of lingering financial ills.  A staff of four was gathered at the switchboard, but there were no lights flashing.

   Once a weekend mecca for the landed gentry, city aristocrats and until recently a battleground for political aspirants, the bankrupt hotel was to give shelter last night to but one traveler, a truckdriver, but “he’ll be leaving very early” today.  Management, however, had consented to keep the 10th floor open for any late arrivals last night.

   One of those in attendance yesterday traced the cause of death to the firing of Tom Brown, the hotel’s legendary doorman who was last seen several years ago.  Last year, the bar and restaurant were closed “for the summer,” but were never reopened.

   “That was terrible,” said one, “once you start cutting services you lose, lose, lose.”

   Another employe spending a last day at the hotel was Mrs. Ann Conte of 409 Hudson St., chief telephone operator for the past 15 years.  “It’s unbelievable,” she said of the closing, “it still doesn’t seem real.”

   “I had other opportunities,” Mrs. Conte said, “but I loved hotel work, I didn’t want to leave.”  She doesn’t know what she’s going to do, and a reporter could give her scant aid.

    Harry Mudie, the assistant manager, is joining the banquet department of the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark.  But first, he’s flying to Scotland to visit his family “after 19 years.”

   “I’m leaving Thursday from Kennedy, yep, I’m flying.  It’ll take me longer to get to the airport than it will to fly home, it’s only six hours by jet.”

   Also on duty yesterday was Miss LaGretta Rice, who has been an elevator operator with the hotel since 1923.  “They had some wonderful parties here,” she said.

   And the last of the four was Robert Ewing, an elevator operator who is a student at Trenton State College.

   Naturally, all were reluctant to discuss the closing, but it was clear they believed the steady curtailment of services ordered to stave off bankruptcy was a two-edged sword.

   The future of the hotel’s commercial tenants is unclear.  Radio Station WAAT apparently will stay on until June and some others are moving next door to the Hildebrecht.

   The indoor ramp garage will be kept open if someone can be found to operate it.

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Trenton's Social Headquarters, The Stacy Trent, Ends Service

The Daily Register (Red Bank Area), March 1, 1965

 

   TRENTON - The famous Stacy Trent hotel where presidents, governors, legislators, famous business people and society lived, wined and dined for many years, closed its old doors forever, the past weekend.

   The hotel, which first opened in 1921, has been bankrupt for nearly two years.  The state's capital city will miss the place.  The parade of progress left its mark on the old building which is handy, two blocks away from the State House.

   One by one, the large bars and dining rooms were closed and employees dismissed.  For the last few months only a tiny bar and tea room were in operation.

   The threadbare carpets attest to the thousands of persons who visited or stayed at the hotel.

   That Private Suite

   On the fourth floor is a suite where many big political deals were plotted and carried out.

   Residents in the hotel received notices to move last Monday.

   Some of the workers were too proud to give their names when questioned by a Register reporter.

   "Certainly I'll miss the old place; I guess I'll have to retire on my Social Security," the 77-year-old cashier in the dining room said.

   A man.remarked:  "I've been carrying trays of food in this hotel for 39 years. Maybe I can get a job at one of the two motels in Trenton. But wouldn't you think the former owners of this place would do something for me?"

   'Felt Like Crying'

   The bartender, on the job for 24 years, poured a drink well above that familiar white line around the shot glass and said, slowly:

   "I hope to get other work but I felt like crying yesterday when that old waiter cleaned out his locker."

   "It was loaded with junk but his pictures of family members who are gone is what hit me."

   Nostalgia then got the best of the barkeep and he bought me not one, but two drinks.

   "I've been wanting to do this for years," he whispered.  "It's on the house."

   The biggest success story to come out of the hotel concerns a bellhop who spent 40 years there.

   He got tips on the stock market from many informed persons, including the legislators.

   Living alone, he saved his money, and one day went across the street to a stock broker, invested some money - and, later, became a millionaire.

   The day he left the hotel for a boat trip to Paris he refused to take a cab.  Instead the bellhop, with his three heavy bags, took a bus to the station enroute to New York.

   He was never seen again.

   No one knows just what will happen to the Stacy Trent.  But the most logical guess is that it will be torn down to make way for some beautiful edifice - which Trenton certainly needs.

   Everything has been cleaned out.

   Silver Disappears

   "We once had $75,000 worth of silverware here," the bartender said.  He then showed us three large soup spoons.  "That's all that is left.  It just disappeared."

   The last big event in the hotel was last Tuesday night.

   That was when the Republican screening committee met in the Terrace room to nominate a candidate for governor - Sen. Wayne Dumont, Jr.

   The GOP state committee will keep its offices open on the third floor for a few more days.

   The glory days are gone.  There is now only one option held on the hotel - for a mere $30,000.

   No one is really interested.

* * * * *

Stacy-Trent’s Liquor License Goes For $1,000

Trenton Times, December 8, 1966

 

   The liquor license of the bar in the defunct Stacy-Trent Hotel has been sold for $1,000.

   Confirmation of the sale today to Antonio Giancarli of 1200 Parkway Avenue, the lone bidder, was made by Bankruptcy Referee Joseph Fishberg.

   Giancarli made the initial bid a week ago, but it was held up after a protest by the owners of the hotel, the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.  The insurance firm bought the property at auction on September 21.

   After a week’s stay, and no further protest, the liquor license sale to Giancarli was confirmed.

* * * * *

Kurtz Vetoes Lease Of Office Building
The South Amboy Citizen, May 11, 1967
 
   Legislative Budget Director, William Kurtz, refused to approve a lease that would have enabled a private firm to demolish the Hotel Stacy Trent in Trenton and construct an office building in its place.  The action that Kurtz took prevented the state from paying 32 million for the use of a building that would have cost less than 8 million.
   Kurtz raised several questions regarding the proposed lease.  He asked, "Why did the state request a building with 200,000 square feet when only 175,000 square feet are required?"
   "What was to prevent the firm from building a larger building on the strength of the state lease?"
   "Why was the state's option to purchase limited to the 11th year?  Why couldn't the state have a simple first option?"
   "Why were open-end tax and escalation clauses included with no limits on the state's obligation?"
   "Have any alternative proposals been made by other parties regarding purchase of this property and subsequent lease to the state?"
   "Does the proposal conflict with plans for the new state building complex and building for the State Treasury Department in the John Fitch area?"
   "Would it not be more economical to purchase the property for the reported sale price of $350,000 and use available space for offices until the state decides to build a new building?"
   Kurtz also suggested, as alternatives, in case the state decided to lease in spite of his objections that the rental be reduced from $4.85 to $4.50 per sq. ft. with no added charge for parking space; a fixed purchase price for sale of the building to the state geared to 3 million at the end of 10 years; a first option to buy for the state; and a ceiling on the exclation clauses of not more than 1% a year.
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