Plaza Hotel interior rooms slated for public hearing

Landmarks takes first step towards designation of the Plaza’s interiors. On March 8, 2005, Landmarks voted to hold a hearing on the designation of five public interior rooms of the Plaza Hotel: the Oak Room, the Oak Bar, the Palm Court and the entrance lobbies at West 59th Street and Grand Army Plaza. By a second vote on March 15, 2005, Landmarks added the Plaza’s Terrace Room and first floor of the Grand Ballroom to its consideration.

The Oak Room, the Oak Bar and the West 59th Street lobby retain most of Henry Hardenbergh’s original 1905 design. Landmarks noted that the Palm Court, which still contains the original mirrored arched openings, marble Corinthian columns, and carytids, carved supporting columns, was modified in 1941 by Conrad Hilton when he acquired the hotel. The Grand Army Plaza lobby, the Terrace Room, and the Grand Ballroom date to a 1921 addition to the Plaza completed by Warren & Wetmore. Landmarks noted that the Grand Ballroom, known for its ornate chandeliers and balconies, was the location of Truman Capote’s famous 1966 Black & White Costume Ball. To be designated, Landmarks must first hold a public hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Also pending before Landmarks is the Plaza Hotel’s February 25, 2005 application for a change of use for its ground floor retail space. If the Plaza is converted to residential use, the ground floor retail space, now accessory to the hotel, would not be permitted as of right. Landmarks has not set the hearing date.

LPC: The Plaza Hotel Interiors: Palm Court, Oak Room, Oak Bar, Lobbies (March 8, 2005); Terrace Room and the Grand Ballroom’s first floor (March 15, 2005).

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