This confection was built for W. E. D. Stokes, a finicky West Side developer, as an apartment hotel. Stokes insisted on fireproof masonry construction and ordered that all of the apartments must be soundproof behind three-foot-thick walls, which made it attractive to such guests as singers Lauritz Melchior and Ezio Pinza, as well as Arturo Toscanini and Igor Stravinsky. Showman Florenz Ziegfeld lived here, too, but a name not often mentioned in the Ansonia’s long and illustrious guest list is that of Babe Ruth. He was following a tradition already established by almost the entire New York Yankees baseball team.
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