113 Jane Street in New York City has long been a respite for weary – and cash-strapped – travelers. But in the spring of 1912, the boarding house received a rash of unexpected guests, when more than 100 Titanic survivors — many of them crewmen — sought shelter there after being rescued from sea. The New York Times reported that as many or more survivors gathered one night to remember those lost at sea, singing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” with “a mighty, roaring chorus.”
The brick building was constructed just blocks away from the Cunard Line pier in 1908 as a lodging house for sailors, offering them an inexpensive place to rest after a long journey at sea. Lodging cost the sailors only 25 cents a night, half the rate charged to other guests.
But the big-name owners have ensured that the hotel, which they renamed The Jane in 2008, reflects and celebrates its unique history.
“By restoring the landmark hotel, rather than renovating it, we hoped to resurrect an authentic slice of idiosyncratic, historical New York,” MacPherson says.
The small rooms (offered for $99 a night, a practically unheard-of rate in New York) resemble sleeping compartments on a ship and the communal bathrooms down the hall are a nod to the property’s boarding house days. The owners aren’t about to overlook the role the historic building played in the aftermath of the sinking of the Titanic, either.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster, The Jane is serving up some truly inspired cocktail creations in its bar, the Jane Ballroom, until April 18th.
The “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” a Bourbon-based drink named after the tenacious woman who helped row a boat to safety, and the more cryptically named, “ST-705” — a bubbly, champagne-based cocktail that honors the number of people who reportedly survived the wreck. And while time is running out to snatch up these tasty libations, stop by the hotel anytime and you’re sure to be transported back to an era of opulence and drama.
The Jane is only one of many historic locations around the world celebrating the centennial of the world’s most famous shipwreck. Here are a few of our picks:
The SeaCity Museum in the English port city of Southampton, the launch site for Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, has opened a permanent exhibit to commemorate the historic ship, and the brand-new Titanic Belfast museum, built on the slipways where Titanic was actually built, offers visitors a chance to re-live the entire Titanic story, from birth to its tragic demise and beyond.
If you’re stateside, now’s a good time to check out the popular Titanic attractions in Branson, Missouri and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. And visitors to D.C. shouldn’t miss the “Titanic: 100 Year Obsession” exhibit at the National Geographic Museum (through July 8). The interactive exhibit includes an 18-foot model of the ship, historic photographs of the ship and its passengers, the latest imagery from National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron’s trip to the wreckage, and props from his 1997 blockbuster.