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 is now 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 Baa. 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.
I have included two post card views(north and south) and a business card from the late 1890’s.
3 thoughts on “The Continental Hotel 1873-1979”
My father’s uncle lived in this hotel (it was called Hotel Benzell then) until about 1970. Thank you so much for memorializing this handsome building, which is also a small piece of my family’s history.
You’re very welcome.
Amy Stewart’s 2015 novel “Girl Waits With Gun” has its 1915 climax in this hotel. She describes its public rooms very plausibly. Although the principal events of the novel (modeled on real ones) take place in Paterson, Hackensack and Wykoff, the characters spend a week in Newark because the Federal Court is located there.