Hotel Diplomat, New York City, NY

Built in 1911 at 108 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10001, as the Mother Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; turned into a hotel after foreclosure in 1934. It was acquired by the Durst Organization in 1969, but they did not take over operations until 1985.

The Diplomat had a diplomatic policy when it came to events bookings and clientele, and became a major venue of rock shows, held in the hotel's ballrooms from 1968-1980. At various times it played host to jazz performers (such as Miles Davis and Albert Ayler), salsa bands, Libertarian conferences, Chilean solidarity meetings, civil rights poets, Abbie Hoffman drug busts, art exhibitions, and drag balls. During the 1970's, it was also the site of the decadent-but-classy Le Jardin discotheque, located in the basement (where Hoffman was busted for cocaine possession).

Upstairs, the Diplomat was home primarily to transients, but there were residents who had been living there since the 1940s. By 1985, Mr. Durst, vice president, said the number of permanent residents had grown to about 100, while there were 50 to 60 transients. The Dursts managed to pay off and creatively evict all the tenants by 1993, got an order for demolition, which was executed in 1994. The site of Diplomat Hotel is now a Bank of America Tower, with service entrances at 106 and 110 W. 43rd Street. 108 is history.

The following venues are/were located on site:


Springsteen did 1 performances, excl. rehearsals, at this venue.


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