Plaza Hotel


29 East 36th Street, New York, NY, United States

Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, Warren & Wetmore, Schultze & Weaver

BUILT 1907, 1922, 1929

RESTORED BY Gal Nauer Architects, Walter B. Melvin Architects

RESTORED 2007, 2009


Ground floor interior consisting of the Fifth Avenue vestibules, Lobby, corridor to
the east of the Palm Court, the Palm Court, Terrace Room, corridor to the north of the Palm Court connecting to the 59th Street Lobby and the Oak Room, foyers to the Edwardian Room from the corridor to the north of the Palm Court and the 59th Street Lobby, the Edwardian Room, 59th Street Lobby and vestibule, the Oak Room and the Oak Bar, corridor to the east of the Oak
Room, corridor to the south of the Palm Court, and the staircases connecting the ground floor to
the mezzanine floor; mezzanine floor interior consisting of the Terrace Room Corridor,
Mezzanine Foyer, Terrace Room balcony, Terrace Room and fountain, and the staircase
connecting the mezzanine floor to the first floor Grand Ballroom Foyer; first floor interior
consisting of the Grand Ballroom Foyer, Grand Ballroom Corridor, Grand Ballroom and stage,
and Grand Ballroom boxes; and the fixtures and the interior components of these spaces,
including but not limited to, wall surfaces, ceiling surfaces and floor surfaces, murals, mirrors,
chandeliers, all lighting fixtures, attached furnishings, doors, exterior elevator doors and grilles,
railings and balustrades, decorative metalwork and attached decorative elements


Excerpt from Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report:

“The Commission further finds that, among its important qualities, the Plaza Hotel Interiors are part of one of the world’s great hotels since it opened in 1907; that in 1971 New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable called the hotel ‘New York’s most celebrated symbol of cosmopolitan and turn-of-the-century splendor, inside and out;’ that the eight major publicly accessible rooms as well as the adjacent corridors, vestibules, stairways, and foyers are largely a result of four different campaigns, Henry Hardenbergh’s original design of 1905-07, the 1919-21 renovation and addition by Warren & Wetmore, Schultze & Weaver’s ballroom from 1929, and Conrad Hilton’s
renovation of the building when he acquired it in 1943; that Hardenbergh, Warren & Wetmore and Schultze & Weaver were three significant early twentieth-century American architectural firms which were pre-eminent hotel designers; that the Plaza Hotel is one of Henry Hardenbergh’s most famous and critically acclaimed buildings and that Hardenbergh is credited with being the first American architect to systematically approach the design of hotel interiors and set standards for the design of luxury American hotels on the exterior and interior of his buildings and that the Plaza Hotel interiors are rare surviving examples of Hardenbergh’s interior designs in New York City and represent his spatially sophisticated planning and mastery of historical revival styles; that the Beaux-Arts style 59th Street Lobby and Main Corridor feature strikingly veined and carefully matched stonework in white and Breccia marble; that the German Renaissance
Revival style Oak Room features wood paneling with elaborate carvings on the west wall, murals of medieval castles and a coved plaster ceiling; that the Spanish Renaissance Revival style Edwardian Room features paneled wood wainscotting and an elaborate trussed ceiling with carved bosses, stenciled decorations and mirrors; that the neo-order of highly polished marble pilasters, a colonnade of marble columns separating the space from the main corridor and marble caryatids representing the Four Seasons on the west wall; that the 1919-21 addition by Warren & Wetmore includes the neo-Classical style Fifth Avenue Lobby and the neo-Renaissance style Terrace Room; that the firm was known for its hotel interiors which accommodated the expanding social demands of wellto-do Americans by providing vast halls for promenading, lounging and public dining; that the Terrace Room features painted decorations by noted interior decorator John
Smeraldi and different levels of space and that its foyer features pilasters with ornate capitals and a richly decorated coffered ceiling; that these spaces are rare extant examples in New York City of Warren & Wetmore’s hotel interiors; that Schultze & Weaver’s 1929 Grand Ballroom represents the work of one of America’s significant hotel designers and its mastery of revival styles and that the neo-Classical style room features attached Ionic columns and an elaborate coved ceiling; that the Plaza Operating Company owned the current building and its predecessor from 1902 to 1943 and that the Plaza was managed by noted hotelier Frederic Sterry from 1905 to 1932; that in 1943 the hotel was acquired by the Atlas Corporation, which was affiliated with famed hotelier Conrad Hilton, who owned the building until 1953 and that Hilton opened the Tudor Revival style Oak Bar and commissioned Everett Shinn to paint three murals specifically for the
space in 1945; that from its opening in 1907 the Plaza Hotel’s public spaces have been used by its guests as well as the general public including the 1,000s of people who took tea at the Palm Court and habitués, such as George Cohan, of the Oak Room and that the
Terrace Room has been used for receptions and press conferences including that of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier and that the Grand Ballroom has been the site of benefits, weddings and dances, most notably Truman Capote’s 1966 Black and White Ball; and that in 1975 the New York Times in an editorial calling for the designation of the Plaza’s publicly accessible spaces described the interiors as ‘among the most splendid public spaces in the city.’”

LPC Designation Reports