Located just off Times Square on West 43rd Street, the Woodstock Hotel’s history closely mirrors the history of Times Square itself. The Woodstock began life in 1903 as the Spalding Hotel. In 1904 the triangle at the intersection of 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42nd Street was named Times Square in honor of The New York Times newspaper. Three years later, the Spalding Hotel was sold to a consortium led by the Governor of Vermont and renamed after Woodstock, Vermont. By 1912 the Woodstock Hotel had been expanded and had gained a reputation as a luxury hotel. Regular guests included “Diamond Jim” Brady, Lillian Russell, and then future President Woodrow Wilson.
Although the immediate postwar years saw Times Square glittering more brightly than ever, the area’s old hotels – including The Woodstock – gradually fell into disrepair. By the 1960’s the neighborhood had changed so radically that landlords were no longer able to maintain occupancy rates. In the 1970’s the proliferation of the porn industry made Times Square into an uninviting and sometimes dangerous area. The Woodstock Hotel lost its sheen as well; occupancy dropped precipitously.
The owner of the Woodstock at that time, Bertram Fields, approached Project FIND and offered a lease with a buy option for the amount of the mortgage. Project FIND took the offer and scraped together the funds to make it work. In 1975 Project FIND became the first nonprofit organization to manage an SRO in New York. Slowly the agency began renovating rooms and increased occupancy high enough to sustain basic building operations.
In 1979 Project FIND bought The Woodstock and, with government grants and loans, was able to make partial renovations. In 1993 Project FIND undertook a complete financial restructuring and renovation, financed with a $9.8 million loan from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and, a $4.6 million tax credit syndication, underwritten by the National Equity Fund, with assistance from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. The building was renamed Glaves House in honor of Aston Glaves, a founding board member and former Executive Director of Project FIND.
The Woodstock contains 283 Single Room Occupancy (SRO) units. Regulatory protocols stipulate that no less than 60% of the occupants are to be derived from direct referrals from the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter system. All tenants must be aged 55 and over and earn less than 60% of Area Median Income which as of 2014, must not exceed $37,500.
With funding from the NYC DHS under the SRO Support Subsidy Program, the Woodstock Hotel has a 6 person social services team, which includes a substance abuse specialist. Psychiatric services are provided by the Center for Urban Community Services on a contract basis. In-house medical care is provided by Luthern Family Services / Mount Sinai Medical Center.
The Woodstock Hotel also has a four person housekeeping staff. In addition to helping tenants maintain their apartments, the housekeepers are often the first persons to observe meaningful changes in a tenant’s health, behavior or mental condition.
On the second floor of the Woodstock Hotel, there is a Senior Center and the Homeless In-Reach Program.