Nearly 6,000 New Yorkers formed a line around a block on May 20, 2005, for the opportunity to purchase a piece of the Plaza. The 99-year-old hotel, which Elad Properties had bought the prior September, was auctioning its contents in preparation for a three-year, $350 million renovation intended to revive this New York institution as the city’s best place to stay—and live.
Since opening in 1907, the Plaza has hosted presidents, foreign dignitaries, and film stars, as well as a precocious 6-year-old resident named Eloise. The fictional character was not the only one to call the Central Park property home: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright lived there for six years while overseeing construction of the Guggenheim, and the Vanderbilts, Astors, and other industrialist families retained residences at the hotel. The property’s developers plan to build upon this tradition with the Private Residences at the Plaza, a collection of 182 full-ownership units that will complement the hotel’s 282 guest rooms.
Accessed via a private lobby and entrance on Central Park South, the one- to five-bedroom residences at the Plaza will range in size from 782 to 5,613 square feet. The units, which cost from $2.5 million to $33 million, will afford views of Central Park and will feature parquet floors, bathrooms modeled after the hotel’s original facilities, and other interior details that reflect the property’s past. Modern updates will include touchscreen home automation systems, and owners will have access to the Plaza’s full suite of amenities, priced à la carte.
Elad Properties’ plans for the hotel itself include restoring the stained glass on the Palm Court ceiling (which had been removed to accommodate air-conditioning) and the 1940s-era Impressionist murals by Everett Shinn in the Oak Bar. The Plaza will reopen in October 2007 to coincide with the hotel’s centenary.
The Private Residences at the Plaza