Each time I pass by the old relic sign of the Keller Hotel, I almost have to convince myself it's the real thing. That anything so ephemeral could survive on the radically transformed West Village waterfront seems incredible. Where the once-bustling dockfronts degenerated into a post-industrial fantasy of seedy bars and abandoned piers backdropped by the rusting hulk of the West Side Highway, there are now luxury apartments girdled by the lush plantings of the Hudson River Park. The change has been seismic, but this fragile relic remains.
The Keller seen in 1929, at which time it operated as the Keller Abington. (P.L. Sperr / NYPL)