|About the Book|
The Hotel Theresa is the stuff of legend, and one of the New York landmarks that established Harlem as a mecca of black culture. Meet Me at the Theresa is the first book devoted to the fabulous story of the Hotel Theresa. Though it closed its doorsMoreThe Hotel Theresa is the stuff of legend, and one of the New York landmarks that established Harlem as a mecca of black culture. Meet Me at the Theresa is the first book devoted to the fabulous story of the Hotel Theresa. Though it closed its doors in 1970, there are still many who live to tell the tales -- and this lively social history is based on their first-hand accounts.In mid-twentieth century America, Harlem was the cultural capital of African America and the Theresa was the place for black people to see and be seen. The hotel was known to have the hottest nightlife in the world and to be the only grand hotel in Manhattan that welcomed nonwhites.The Theresa was situated among a cluster of famous nightspots of the day. Locals and out-of-towners could stroll from the hotel to take in jam sessions at Mintons Playhouse, see floorshows at the Baby Grand, admire chorus girls at Club Baron, do the jitterbug at the Savoy Ballroom, and watch showbiz heavyweights at the Apollo Theater.Black Americas biggest and brightest -- Josephine Baker, Dorothy Dandridge, Duke Ellington, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and so many more -- made the hotel their New York stay-over. The book reveals little-known facts and stories about the celebrities and the regulars: the owners, the gangsters, the showgirls, the politicians, entertainers, intellectuals, the fast crowd, and even the hangers-on.The slim, white, thirteen-story building still stands on the historic corner of Seventh Avenue (or Adam C. Powell Jr. Boulevard) and 125th Street, but few of the legions that pass it day after day know that in its day, the landmark was as famous as the Apollo Theater or the Savoy Ballroom, and more central to the history of Harlem than any other building there. As Sondra K. Wilson writes, For thirty years [from 1940-1970] life in and outside the hotel was an exhilarating social experience that has yet to be duplicated.