From: Historical Sketch of the City of Newark 1902
"There is but one hotel in Newark, i.e., one worthy of the name." This is hardly credible of a city of such great commercial importance. Yet such is the case. The Continental Hotel is the only first-class hotel in the city; but it is first class, and Newark need not blush for their single hotel.
The Continental is a perfect exponent of the science of first-class hotel keeping and enjoys a splendid patronage from both the traveling and the residential public. It was first opened about 33 years ago, since when quite a number of changes have occurred in the proprietorship.
The late Mr. C. H. Bartlett assumed control in 1888, in which year the hotel began a new era of prosperity, which has been maintained with unabated progress up to date. The business grew to such proportions that Mr. Bartlett was unable to attend to all the details, and sought to lighten the burden of the responsibility and management by associating in partnership with himself and his son-in-law, Mr. Louis E. Cooke.
The firm became C. H. Bartlett & Co. in 1890.
Mr. Cooke, the present proprietor, is a bright, active, enterprising young business man of cosmopolitan education and experience, and has for years been closely connected with Messrs. Barnum & Bailey's "Greatest Show on Earth," Sells Bros & Forepaugh Shows, and is general agent for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows. He is a gentleman of most genial disposition, always attentive to the comfort and welfare of his guests, and in this way makes their stay at the Continental homelike and cheerful. Mr. Cooke's connection with traveling shows necessitates his absence from Newark the greater part of the year, and during that time he entrusts the care and comfort of the hotel's guests to Mr. Charles J. Coon, whose long experience in hotel managing makes him an able deputy.
The hotel has very lately been remodeled and presents a handsome exterior and is most elegantly fitted up throughout.
It contains every modern improvement and is thoroughly up-to-date, comparing very favorably with the majority of hotels in the country. There are 100 rooms, well ventilated and comfortable, while nothing has been omitted to facilitate escape in the event of fire.
A large force of assistants is employed who are trained to be polite, prompt and to give first-class service. On the first floor are the office, baggage room, kitchen and scullery; the dining room, comfortably seating hone hundred and twenty persons, and the cafe.
The cuisine has a high reputation amongst the best classes, and all the delicacies of the season are to be found on the table. On this floor will also be found the telegraph and telephone offices and the cigar stand.
The hotel parlor occupies the second floor, the balance of which, as well as the upper floors, contains the sleeping rooms en suite and single. Communication with the office is had by bells calls and annunciators, hot and cold baths are always available, and the other comforts and conveniences combine to make the Continental what it really is, the best hotel in Newark.
From: "Newark, the City of Industry" Published by the Newark Board of Trade 1912
At the present time the largest hotel in the city is the Continental. This is the one that is situated on upper Broad Street, near the Lackawanna Railroad Depot. It is an up to date hotel, and well appointed. The service is all that could be desired, and the general social atmosphere is that of a delightful home or a well conducted refined club. In addition to the cafe, reading and writing rooms, ladies' parlor and "sketch room," in which many handsome painting are to be seen, the hotel boars of an excellent restaurant. The living rooms are arranged singly and en suite, with private parlors, bedrooms and baths. From most of them the occupant can get a magnificent view, not only of the city, but of New York harbor on one side and the imposing Orange Mountains on the other.
From Lisa Horton
The Continental Hotel was constructed circa 1873 and quickly established itself as Newark’s top hotel. For the better part of a century it stood on the north end of Broad Street where the former Bears Stadium was located. The hotel later became the Berwick Hotel and finished its life as the Benzell Hotel. In the latter part of its existence the hotel was home to Dwyer’s Elbow Room and Black Sheep Bar. This bar was renowned and its proprietor, Ed Dwyer, was known for his hospitality. His ashes now rest in the side yard of the North Reformed Church. On April 8, 1979, the hotel, now known as the Benzell Hotel, burned. The fire was set by a resident. Although, the hotel had become severely run down and was quite dangerous, just think how much history it had seen in 106 years! After the fire it was demolished.
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