Plaza Hotel: Difference between revisions

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U.S. Realty continued to lose money through the 1930s, and was selling off its properties by 1942, including the Plaza Hotel.<ref name="Satow ch. 6">{{harvnb|Satow|2019|ps=.|loc=chapter 6}}</ref> [[Atlas Corporation]], collaborating with hotelier [[Conrad Hilton]], bought the Plaza Hotel for $7.4&nbsp;million in October 1943.{{efn-lg|Equivalent to ${{Inflation|US-GDP|7.4|1943|r=2}} million in {{Inflation year|US-GDP}}{{inflation/fn|index=US-GDP|group=lower-alpha}}}}<ref>{{Cite news|date=October 8, 1943|title=Atlas in Control of Plaza Hotel; Corporation Buys All Stock of U.S. Realty in Fifth Avenue Property|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1943/10/08/archives/atlas-in-control-of-plaza-hotel-corporation-buys-all-stock-of-us.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 27, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref><ref>{{cite news|date=October 8, 1943|title=Atlas Interests Buy Plaza Hotel In Security Deal: Large 5th Avenue Property Sold by General Realty to Floyd B. Odlum Group|page=29|work=New York Herald Tribune|id={{ProQuest|1268022005}} }}</ref> At the time, the Plaza was 61 percent occupied, and many public areas were closed due to supply shortages caused by [[World War II]].<ref>{{cite book|last=Dabney|first=Thomas Ewing|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=FOFEAAAAIAAJ|title=The Man who Bought the Waldorf: The Life of Conrad N. Hilton|publisher=Duell, Sloan and Pearce|year=1950|page=173}}</ref><ref name="Satow ch. 7">{{harvnb|Satow|2019|ps=.|loc=chapter 7}}</ref> Hilton subsequently spent $6&nbsp;million refurbishing the hotel.<ref name="Mashayekhi 2018" /> During mid-1944, the lobby on Fifth Avenue was renovated and its mezzanine was enclosed. The Palm Court skylight, having fallen into disrepair, was removed for the installation of air conditioning equipment.<ref name="NYCL p. 14" /><ref name="Gathje p. 26">{{harvnb|Gathje|2000|ps=.|p=26}}</ref> A mezzanine was also built above the hotel's former courtyard,<ref name="NPS p. 5" /><ref name="nyt19820927" /><ref name="Gura p. 95">{{harvnb|Gura|2015|ps=.|p=95}}</ref> and the room itself became the Court Lounge.<ref name="NYCL p. 58" /> The brokerage office at the ground level's northwestern corner was turned into the Oak Bar, which opened in January 1945, and EF Hutton was relegated to the Fifth Avenue lobby's mezzanine.<ref name="Brown p. 188">{{harvnb|Brown|1967|p=188}}; {{harvnb|Gura|2015|p=95}}; {{harvnb|Landmarks Preservation Commission|2005|ps=.|p=14}}</ref> The contractor for the renovations may have been Frederick P. Platt & Brother, which was the Plaza Hotel's primary contractor in the 1940s.<ref name="NYCL p. 14" />
 
The Plaza Hotel Corporation, the hotel's operator, was merged into the [[Hilton Worldwide|Hilton Hotels Corporation]] in 1946.<ref>{{Cite news|date=June 7, 1946|title=$60,000,000 Hilton Hotel Concern Formed as Four Companies Merge; Plaza, Stevens, Palmer House, Dayton-Biltmore Combined|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1946/06/07/archives/60000000-hilton-hotel-concern-formed-as-four-companies-merge-plaza.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 27, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> The following year, the Plaza Rendez-Vous opened within the old grill room space.<ref name="Harris p. 69">{{harvnb|Harris|1981|ps=.|p=69}}</ref> By the early 1950s, women were allowed inside the Oak Room and Bar during the evenings and summers. The Oak Room and Bar still acted as a men-only space before 3 p.m., while the stock exchanges operated, as a concession to the space's regular patrons.<ref>{{harvnb|Gathje|2000|p=142}}; {{harvnb|Harris|1981|pp=55–56}}; {{harvnb|Landmarks Preservation Commission|2005|ps=.|p=15}}</ref>
 
Hilton sold the hotel in 1953 to Boston industrialist A.M. "Sonny" Sonnabend for $15&nbsp;million,{{efn-lg|Equivalent to ${{Inflation|US-GDP|15|1953|r=2}} million in {{Inflation year|US-GDP}}{{inflation/fn|index=US-GDP|group=lower-alpha}}}} and immediately leased it back for 2.5 years.<ref>{{Cite news|date=October 15, 1953|title=$15,000,000 Paid for Plaza Hotel; Hilton Interests Take Lease Back From the Sonnabend Group of Boston, Mass|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1953/10/15/archives/15000000-paid-for-plaza-hotel-hilton-interests-take-lease-back-from.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 28, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref><ref name="Gathje p. 163">{{harvnb|Gathje|2000|ps=.|p=163}}</ref> Sonnabend became president of national restaurant chain [[Childs Company]] in 1955, and Childs purchased the Plaza that November, for $6.2&nbsp;million in stock.<ref>{{Cite news|date=November 18, 1955|title=Childs Approves Plaza Purchase; Holders Also Agree to Lease 3 Other Hotels, Change Corporate Name|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1955/11/18/archives/childs-approves-plaza-purchase-holders-also-agree-to-lease-3-other.html|access-date=July 9, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> The same year, the ground-floor Plaza Restaurant was renamed the Edwardian Room.<ref>{{harvnb|Brown|1967|p=192}}; {{harvnb|Gathje|2000|p=30}}; {{harvnb|Landmarks Preservation Commission|2005|ps=.|p=15}}</ref> Air conditioning was also installed in each guest room around this time.<ref>{{Cite news|last=Grutzner|first=Charles|date=July 8, 1956|title=Year of the Air Conditioning; New York Hotels Putting Millions Into Cooling and Renovations|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1956/07/08/archives/year-of-the-air-conditioning-new-york-hotels-putting-millions-into.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 28, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> Childs became the Hotel Corporation of America (HCA) in 1956,<ref>{{Cite news|date=February 23, 1956|title=Childs Co. Changes Name|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1956/02/23/archives/childs-co-changes-name.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 28, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> and Hilton's lease was renewed indefinitely that year.<ref>{{Cite news|date=March 1, 1956|title=Hotel Corporation of America Buys 2 Hotels for $14,930,000|page=15|work=Daily Boston Globe|id={{ProQuest|842256840}} }}</ref> HCA sold the Plaza to [[Lawrence Wien]] in November 1958 for $21 million{{efn-lg|Equivalent to ${{Inflation|index=US-GDP|value=21|start_year=1958}} million in {{Inflation/year|index=US-GDP}}{{inflation/fn|index=US-GDP|group=lower-alpha}}}} and immediately leased it back for 25 years.<ref>{{Cite news|date=November 21, 1958|title=Plaza Hotel Sold for 21 Millions; Wien Pays Record Sum for 5th Ave. Building -- Chain to Lease It Back|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1958/11/21/archives/plaza-hotel-sold-for-21-millions-wien-pays-record-sum-for-5th-ave.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 27, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> The transaction included curtailing Hilton's lease to April 1960,<ref>{{Cite news|date=January 2, 1959|title=Plaza Hotel Title Passes|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1959/01/02/archives/plaza-hotel-title-passes.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 28, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref> upon which HCA assumed the operating lease.<ref>{{Cite news|date=April 1, 1960|title=Plaza Hotel in Shift; Hotel Corporation to Take Over on Lease Today|language=en-US|work=The New York Times|url=https://www.nytimes.com/1960/04/01/archives/plaza-hotel-in-shift-hotel-corporation-to-take-over-on-lease-today.html|url-status=live|access-date=November 27, 2020|issn=0362-4331}}</ref>
* {{Cite book|last=Gathje|first=Curtis|url=https://www.overdrive.com/search?q=01ACC6C4-CDC1-4A20-9A6D-AAAFB4C818F5|title=At the Plaza: an illustrated history of the world's most famous hotel|date=2000|isbn=978-1-4668-6700-0|language=English|oclc=874906584}}
* {{cite book|last=Gura|first=Judith|url=https://www.google.com/books/edition/Guide_to_New_York_City_Landmarks/AwYcSFtdE_AC?hl=en&gbpv=1&pg=PA157&printsec=frontcover|title=Interior landmarks : treasures of New York|publisher=The Monacelli Press|year=2015|isbn=978-1-58093-422-0|publication-place=New York, New York|oclc=899332305}}
* {{Cite book|last=Harris|first=Bill|url=https://archive.org/details/plazaharr00harr|title=The Plaza|last2=Clucas|first2=Philip|last3=Smart|first3=Ted|last4=Gibbon|first4=David|last5=Westin Hotels|date=1981|publisher=Poplar Books|year=|isbn=|location=Secaucas, N.J.|pages=17|language=English|oclc=1036787315|ref={{harvid|Harris|1981}}}}
* {{cite web|date=November 29, 1978|title=Historic Structures Report: Plaza Hotel|url=https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/05e74221-73db-47ef-9bd3-eba48d72013f|url-status=live|publisher=[[National Register of Historic Places]], [[National Park Service]]|ref={{harvid|National Park Service|1978}}}}
* {{Cite enc-nyc2|ref={{harvid|Jackson|2010}}}}
[[Category:New York City Designated Landmarks in Manhattan]]
[[Category:New York City interior landmarks]]
[[Category:Residential buildings in Manhattan]]
[[Category:Residential condominiums in New York City]]
[[Category:Skyscraper hotels in Manhattan]]