The Plaza


View Larger Map

The Plaza Hotel in New York City is a landmark 20-story luxury hotel with a height of 250 ft (76 m) and length of 400 ft (120 m) that occupies the west side of Grand Army Plaza, from which it derives its name, and extends along Central Park South in Manhattan. Fifth Avenue extends along the east side of Grand Army Plaza. It is managed and operated by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts of Canada.

Plaza Hotel facilities, guest services and public spaces:
The Plaza Hotel offers its guests and residences many incidentals service including a butler on every floor, baby-sitting and concierges, a gymnasium managed by the world renowned trainer Radu, a shopping mall, the Palm Court under the restored stained glass ceiling, the Champagne Bar located in the hotel lobby with views of Grand Army Plaza, the Edwardian Room, the Terrace Room, the Oak Room Restaurant and Bar, the Rose Club, the Grand Ball Room, as well as meeting rooms and conference rooms. The Grand Ballroom, Terrace Room and meeting spaces are currently managed by CPS Events, a joint venture between Delaware North Companies and the high end caterer Great Performances.

The Plaza Hotel's main entrance faces the southern portion of Grand Army Plaza, commemorating the Union Army in the Civil War. Grand Army Plaza is in two sections, bisected by Central Park South. The section in front of the Plaza Hotel is centered by the Pulitzer Fountain, of Abundance by Karl Bitter, funded by the will of the newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer: the statue in the fountain is specifically Pomona, Roman goddess of orchards. The statue was posed for by Doris Doscher, also famous for posing for the Standing Liberty Quarter. The north side of Grand Army Plaza, a corner cut out from Central Park, has Augustus Saint-Gaudens' part-gilded bronze equestrian statue of General Sherman. Scholars Gate, behind Grand Army Plaza, provided one of the two original main entrances to the carriage drives of Central Park, the other being Merchants Gate at the Grand Circle, now Columbus Circle.
On the south side of the Plaza (between 57th and 58th Streets) once stood the French Renaissance château of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, designed by George Browne Post; rising behind its gated front court, it was the grandest of the Fifth Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age. Bergdorf Goodman occupies its site.

The Plaza Hotel is the second hotel of that name on the site. The French Renaissance château-style building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and opened to the public on October 1, 1907. At the time, it cost $12.5 million to construct. When the hotel opened, a room at the Plaza Hotel was only $2.50 per night ($59 in today's dollars). Today, the same room costs from $695 upwards.
The Plaza Hotel was given landmark status by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1969; it was designated a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1978. The Waldorf-Astoria is the only other New York City hotel to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.
Long the site for famous performers and guests, it has also been the meeting place for important political meetings. The nationally known singers Eartha Kitt and Peggy Lee played the Persian Room; unaccompanied ladies were not permitted in the Oak Room bar; and women favored the Palm Court for luncheons and teas. The Beatles stayed at the Plaza Hotel during their first visit to the United States in February 1964. On November 28, 1966, in honor of the publisher Katharine Graham, the writer Truman Capote hosted his acclaimed "Black & White Ball" in the Grand Ballroom.
In September 1985, ministers of developed countries met at the Plaza Hotel to consult on finance issues and affirmed their agreement by signing the Plaza Hotel Accord. It served as an agreement among the finance ministers of the United States, Japan, West Germany, France and Britain to bring down the price of the U.S. dollar against their currencies.
The hotel offers tours of its interior to the public.

The Plaza Hotel In popular culture:

In Films and television, The The Plaza Hotel has been featured in numerous motion picture productions set in New York. See Movie backdrop and Television backdrop, below.

Movie backdrop:
The The Plaza Hotel was featured notably in the original 1956 TV movie Eloise, starring Evelyn Rudie as Eloise, the child who lived "on the top floor", with cameo appearances by Conrad Hilton and Eloise author Kay Thompson.
Although the hotel had appeared briefly in earlier films, it made its major movie debut in the 1959 film North by Northwest.
It was also a setting for:
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
Funny Girl (1968)
Plaza Suite (1971)
The Way We Were (1973)
Love at First Bite (1979)
Arthur (1981)
They All Laughed (1981)
Cotton Club (1984)
Brewster's Millions (1985)
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Big Business (1988)
Crocodile Dundee II (1988)
King of New York (1990)
Scent of a Woman (1991)
In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), then-Plaza Hotel owner Donald Trump appears , directing the main character Kevin to the lobby. In one of the film's more memorable scenes, Kevin must elude the hotel staff by sliding through the Plaza Hotel's lobby into a waiting elevator. To make the scene logistically possible, the film crew had to remove the wall-to-wall carpeting, exposing the original tiles. When then-owner Donald Trump saw the beautiful mosaics, he instantly fell in love with the look and insisted it remain that way after filming, which it did until renovations in 2005 began.
Flodders in America (1992)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
It Could Happen to You (1994)
The Associate (1996)
Almost Famous (2000)
Inside the Osmonds (2001)
Eloise at Christmastime (2003), a live-action film adapated from the eponymous 1958 children's book written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight
Eloise at the Plaza (2003), a live-action film based on the Eloise series of children's books drawn and written by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight
In Bride Wars (2008) with Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway's character was shot in the Grand ballroom, the Terrace room, and in corridors and the Palm Court. The film also shows the lobby and exterior.

Television backdrop:
The The Plaza Hotel is mentioned and shown in numerous television shows, including:
Gossip Girl
Sex and the City
The Sopranos:
The pilot and "Eloise" episodes refer to Carmela and Meadow Soprano's tradition of lunching under Eloise's portrait at the Plaza Hotel on Meadow's birthday.
Several episodes, most notably The Test Dream (Season 5, Episode 11), feature scenes occurring in a suite at the Plaza Hotel.

Literature and publications
It was the setting for Kay Thompson's series of Eloise children's books published in the 1950s, about a young girl who lived at the The Plaza Hotel.
The novel Anonymous Rex has the main character, Vincent Rubio, checking into the hotel at great expense after threatening the front desk clerk.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, The Great Gatsby (1925), features the characters Nick Carraway and Jordan Baker having a conversation in the tea garden at the Plaza Hotel.


Ownership changes and renovations
After Trump's divorce from wife Ivana Trump, the The Plaza Hotel's president, Donald Trump sold the hotel for $325 million in 1995 ($468 million in today's dollars) to Troy Richard Campbell, from New Hampshire. He sold it in 2004 for $675 million ($785 million in today's dollars) to a Manhattan developer, El Ad Properties. El Ad bought the hotel with plans of adding residential and commercial sections. Since The Plaza Hotel is a New York landmark, Tishman Construction Corporation, the construction management company hired to complete the renovations and conversions, had to comply with landmark regulations.
El Ad temporarily closed The Plaza Hotel on April 30, 2005, for extensive renovations. The Plaza Hotel reopened on March 1, 2008. Today the Plaza Hotel offers 282 hotel rooms and 152 private condo hotel units; it is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Diamond retailer Lev Leviev put in the first bid for a Plaza apartment at $10 million. In May 2007, a new apartment in the Plaza was sold for a record $50 million, but prices dropped through 2009.
In November 2008 the Plaza Hotel unveiled its retail collection, an underground mall featuring luxury brands such as Vertu and Demel Bakery, an Austrian-owned business. In 2010 the Plaza Food Court, an eating establishment run by Chef Todd English, opened in the underground mall.
The Plaza Hotel's famous Palm Court closed to the public in January 2009, after it failed a health inspection.
Conrad Hilton had bought the Plaza Hotel for US$7.4 million in 1943 ($94 million in today's dollars) and spent US$6.0 million ($76.2 million in today's dollars) refurbishing it. The Childs Company, a national restaurant chain which partnered in the development of the neighboring Savoy-Plaza Hotel, (now the site of the General Motors Building), purchased the Plaza Hotel in 1955 for 1,100,000 shares of Childs common stock, valued at approximately $6,325,000 ($51.9 million in today's dollars). Childs subsequently changed its name to Hotel Corporation of America, now known as Sonesta International Hotels Corporation. Donald Trump bought the The Plaza Hotel for $407.5 million in 1988 ($756 million in today's dollars). Donald Trump commented on his purchase in a full-page open letter he published in The New York Times: "I haven't purchased a building, I have purchased a masterpiece — the Mona Lisa. For the first time in my life, I have knowingly made a deal that was not economic — for I can never justify the price I paid, no matter how successful the Plaza Hotel becomes."

Construction began in early 2008 on The Las Vegas Plaza, a US$5 billion multi-use luxury hotel, private residence, retail and gaming complex being developed on the Las Vegas Strip opposite Wynn Las Vegas.