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Just one of Saratoga’s big fires

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The Grand Central Hotel was among the finest places to stay in Saratoga when it opened in the summer of 1872 — a worthy rival along Broadway to the mammoth Grand Union and United States hotels just down the street. But casual students of Saratoga history won’t have heard of it. The reason is a reminder that fire, in its destructive power, shaped American cities in the second half of the 19th century. “It was ...


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