Famous New York City Psychiatric Hospital Eyed as Luxury Hotel

Guests at Bellevue will soon be given bathrobes instead of straitjackets, if the city can convince a developer to turn its most famous nut house into a luxe hotel.

City officials yesterday said they're confident the hospital's old psychiatric ward, which until the mid-1980s provided something short of four-star accommodations to countless kooks and criminals, would help fill a void in Manhattan's East Side medical corridor.

Originally, officials considered turning the 1931 Italian Renaissance-style building on First Avenue between 29th and 30th streets into condos, but oddly, the layout of a mental institution is better suited to a hotel, Melissa Konur, vice president of the city's Economic Development Commission, told The Post. "There are long corridors, and the rooms aren't very big," she said.

Even though officials expect the hotel and convention center would be marketed toward medical professionals and families of patients at nearby hospitals, it would be up to developers to deal with the building's sordid past.

Not many hotels can claim Norman Mailer, Edie Sedgwick and Charlie Parker all spent the night, but the psych ward housed fewer sax players than ax murderers, said Dr. Frederick Covan, who for 14 years was its chief psychologist.

Click here to read the full New York Post story.