Plaza Hotel: Difference between revisions

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==== Opening and expansion ====
The new 800-room Plaza Hotel was opened October 1, 1907, twenty-seven months after work had commenced.<ref name="nyt19070929" /><ref name="Jackson p. 1003" /><ref name="tribune19071001">{{cite news|date=October 1, 1907|title=Dinner at the New Plaza Hotel|page=9|work=New-York Tribune|url=https://www.newspapers.com/clip/63967422/|access-date=November 25, 2020|via=newspapers.com {{open access}}}}</ref> The opening was observed by people including businessman [[Diamond Jim Brady]]; actresses [[Lillian Russell]], [[Billie Burke]], [[Maxine Elliott]], and [[Fritzi Scheff]]; producers [[David Belasco]] and [[Oscar Hammerstein I]]; actor [[John Drew Jr.]]; and author [[Mark Twain]].<ref name="Harris p. 29" /> Though the opening coincided with the [[Panic of 1907]], the hotel suffered minimal losses.<ref name="Satow ch. 1" /><ref name="Brown p. 35">{{harvnb|Brown|1967|ps=.|p=35}}</ref> The new hotel more than doubled the capacity of the first structure,<ref name="Frohne p. 349">{{harvnb|Frohne|1907|ps=.|p=349}}</ref> and it was intended as a largely residential hotel at opening, although the terms for "hotel" and "apartment" were largely synonymous at the time.<ref name="nyt20190607">{{Cite news|last=Satow|first=Julie|date=June 7, 2019|title=The Widows of the Plaza Hotel|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/07/realestate/the-widows-of-the-plaza-hotel.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 30, 2020|issn=0362-4331|ref=none}}</ref> Estimates held that ninety percent of the units were for long-term residents.<ref name="NPS p. 3" /><ref name="Harris p. 29">{{harvnb|Harris|1981|ps=.|p=29}}</ref><ref name="nyt20190607" /> The owners charged short-term guests $2.50 nightly.{{efn-lg|Equivalent to ${{Inflation|US|2.50|1907|r=2}} in {{Inflation year|US}}{{inflation/fn|index=US|group=lower-alpha}}}}<ref name="NPS p. 3" /><ref name="Jackson p. 1003" /> Gates, one of the original investors, was among the residents of the new Plaza;<ref name="ABM (1907) pp. 16-18"/> when he died in 1911, his funeral was held at the hotel.<ref>{{cite news|url=https://www.newspapers.com/clip/1954150/gates_funeral/|title=Mourners Came From Many States|newspaper=The Cincinnati Enquirer|page=4|date=August 24, 1911|access-date=March 9, 2015|via=newspapers.com {{open access}}}}</ref><ref name="Satow ch. 5">{{harvnb|Satow|2019|ps=.|loc=chapter 5}}</ref>
 
Most of the public rooms were not originally given formal names.<ref name="Harris p. 40">{{harvnb|Harris|1981|ps=.|p=40}}</ref> Although Hardenbergh had predicted that gender-segregated spaces were going out of fashion,<ref name="Hardenbergh 1902">{{Cite book|last=Hardenbergh|first=Henry Janeway|url=https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015006308418&view=1up&seq=256|title=A dictionary of architecture and building: biographical, historical, and descriptive|publisher=|year=1902|isbn=|editor-last=Sturgis|editor-first=Russell|volume=2|location=|pages=411|language=English|chapter=Hotel|oclc=670096}}</ref> there was a women's reception room near 58th Street, and the bar room and men's grill (respectively the present Oak and Edwardian Rooms) were exclusively used by men.<ref name="Arch (1907) p. 179" /><ref name="rer19070914" /><ref name="NYCL p. 10" /> In practice, the men's grill acted as a social club where business discussion was socially inappropriate, while the bar was a space for businessmen to talk.<ref name="Harris pp. 47-48">{{harvnb|Harris|1981|ps=.|pp=47–48}}</ref> Sometime between 1912 and the start of [[Prohibition in the United States]] in 1920, the brokerage office near the entrance, now the Oak Bar, was turned into an extension of the bar room.<ref name="NYCL p. 14" /> The Champagne Porch along Grand Army Plaza was the most exclusive area of the hotel, with meals costing between $50 and $500.{{efn-lg|Equivalent to between ${{Inflation|index=US|value=50|start_year=1907|fmt=c}} and ${{Inflation|index=US|value=500|start_year=1907|fmt=c}} in {{Inflation/year|index=US}}{{inflation/fn|index=US|group=lower-alpha}}}}<ref name="Harris p. 33">{{harvnb|Harris|1981|ps=.|p=33}}</ref><ref name="bt19210708">{{cite news|date=July 8, 1921|title=Champagne Porch is No More|page=6|work=Buffalo Times|url=https://www.newspapers.com/clip/64067746/|access-date=November 27, 2020|via=newspapers.com {{open access}}}}</ref> The basement's grill room hosted ice-skating in the summer, as well as a "dog check room" where residents' dogs could be fed luxuriously. In its first decade, the Plaza employed a staff of over 1,500.<ref name="Satow ch. 1" />
 
==== Sale to Kwek and Al-Waleed ====
By 1994, Trump was looking to sell the Plaza before Citibank and other creditors could find a buyer, thereby wiping out his investment; one of his executives identified Hong Kong-based [[Sun Hung Kai Properties]] as a potential buyer. The deal fell through after the family of Sun Hung Kai executive [[Walter Kwok]] got trapped behind a jammed door while touring the Plaza Hotel.<ref name="Satow ch. 12">{{harvnb|Satow|2019|ps=.|loc=chapter 12}}</ref> Trump, attempting to maintain public appearances, threatened to sue the ''New York Post'' that December for reporting that the [[Sultan of Brunei]], [[Hassanal Bolkiah]], had made an offer for the hotel.<ref name="Satow ch. 12" /><ref>{{cite news|last=Henry|first=David|date=December 22, 1994|title=Trump Says He'll Sue Post for $500M|page=A53|work=Newsday|id={{ProQuest|278840199}}}}</ref> Meanwhile, the creditors had also identified Singaporean developer [[Kwek Leng Beng]] as a likely buyer.<ref name="Satow 2019">{{cite web|last=Satow|first=Julie|date=May 23, 2019|title=That Time Trump Sold the Plaza Hotel at an $83 Million Loss|url=https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-05-23/that-time-trump-sold-the-plaza-hotel-at-an-83-million-loss|access-date=November 25, 2020|website=Bloomberg.com|ref=none}}</ref> Kwek's company, Singaporean chain [[City Developments Limited]] (CDL), offered to take over the creditors' ownership stake.<ref>{{Cite news|last=Barron|first=James|date=January 11, 1995|title=Company News; Singapore Chain Seeks Plaza Hotel Stake|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/11/business/company-news-singapore-chain-seeks-plaza-hotel-stake.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 29, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> Saudi prince [[Al-Waleed bin Talal]] was also interested in buying the Plaza, and by March 1995, Al-Waleed and CDL had raised $325 million for a controlling stake.<ref>{{cite news|last=Sutton|first=Larry|last2=Michelini|first2=Alex|date=March 16, 1995|title=Looking to Trump two on Plaza deal|page=1272|work=New York Daily News|url=https://www.newspapers.com/clip/64215917/|access-date=November 26, 2020|via=newspapers.com {{open access}}}}</ref> Trump unsuccessfully petitioned Kwek to partner with him instead of Al-Waleed.<ref name="wsj19970219">{{cite news|last=Pacelle|first=Mitchell|date=February 19, 1997|title=Asian Investors Buy Up Hotels in U.S., Europe, But Move Cautiously|page=A1|work=Wall Street Journal|id={{ProQuest|1619948359}}|issn=0099-9660}}</ref>
 
Trump sold the controlling stake to Kwek and Al-Waleed in April 1995.<ref>{{cite news|date=April 12, 1995|title=Trump selling controlling interest in Plaza Hotel|page=44|work=Journal News|url=https://www.newspapers.com/clip/64216225/|access-date=November 29, 2020|via=newspapers.com {{open access}}}}</ref><ref>{{Cite news|last=Gilpin|first=David|last2=Stout|first2=Kenneth N.|date=April 12, 1995|title=Trump Is Selling Plaza Hotel To Saudi and Asian Investors|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/12/business/trump-is-selling-plaza-hotel-to-saudi-and-asian-investors.html|access-date=July 9, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> As part of the transaction, the hotel's debt was cut by $25 million and Kwek and Al-Waleed each bought a 42 percent stake. Citibank received the other 16 percent stake, a move intended to prevent Trump from intervening in the sale.<ref name="Satow ch. 12" /><ref name="Satow 2019" /><ref name="wsj19970219" /> The partnership also agreed that, if the mansard penthouses were ever created, some of the profits would be shared with Trump.<ref name="Satow ch. 12" /> In 1997, Hong Kong developer [[Great Eagle Holdings]] agreed to buy half of Al-Waleed's stake in the Plaza Hotel.<ref>{{Cite news|date=September 30, 1997|title=Metro Business; New Plaza Hotel Owner|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/30/nyregion/metro-business-new-plaza-hotel-owner.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 29, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> DiLorenzo International renovated the ballroom in the mid-1990s,<ref name="NYCL p. 36" /> and Adam Tihany refurbished the Edwardian Room prior to 2001.<ref name="NYCL p. 27" /> The Plaza was highly profitable in the late 1990s, with operating income of almost $46 million at the end of that decade.<ref name="Satow ch. 12" />