The Washington Square Hotel was built and opened in 1902 under the name Hotel Earle, after its first owner, Earle L’Amoureux. It changed owner and names a various times over the decades, becoming the Washington Square Hotel in 1986.
It had its ups and downs along with the neighborhood it sits in. For a while it operated as a somewhat seedy residence hotel. Now it is seeing better days and Washington Square is once again one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city.
Of course no history of a New York hotel, however limited, is complete without a recitation of famous people who stayed there. For the Washington Square Hotel and its predecessors this includes: Bob Dylan, Dylan Thomas, Ernest Hemingway, Joan Baez, Bill Cosby, the B-52s, Maynard Ferguson, the Mamas and the Papas (who are claimed to have written California Dreamin’ there on such a winter day in NYC) , Barbara Streisand, Bo Didley, Phyllis Diller, Buddy Miles, Dexter Gordon, the Rolling Stones, and at least one Monkee, Davey Jones.
Finally, one day a waitress in the cafe asked if she could perform at the weekly Sunday Jazz Brunch. The management listened to her demo tape and let her have a shot — Nora Jones.