The iconic Plaza at the intersection of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue has been selected as the tri-state region’s 2008 Renovation Project of the Year by New York Construction magazine, the authoritative industry monthly published by McGraw-Hill.
The publication cited the outstanding three-year, $400 million, lobby-to-roof restoration of the legendary landmark.
Miki Naftali, President and CEO of El-Ad Group, owner of the storied castle on the park, said, “The Plaza offers the ultimate in luxury, service and amenities, featuring magnificently restored public rooms, and an exterior façade that faithfully recaptures the moment when the Plaza opened its doors, and a new era of opulence, in 1907.” He added, “No effort was spared. At one point, we tracked down the Ohio manufacturer of the original, enameled ceramic roofing tiles. That firm provided exact replicas to rebuild the Plaza’s four-story-tall mansard roof.”
In its December 2008 issue, New York Construction wrote, “Restoring, renovating and reinforcing Manhattan’s famed Plaza Hotel in a $400 million project might be an accomplishment that impresses most people. But add in the reconfiguration from hotel to condominium-retail-hotel hybrid – along with the execution of critical historic preservation tasks and addition of modern yet classically designed features – and the product is a feat deemed best in the renovation category by the awards jury.”
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission supervised the renovation of the Palm Court, the Oak Bar and Oak Room, the Terrace Room, the Grand Ballroom and the Edwardian Room. This included the recreation of the original leaded stained-glass ceiling of the Palm Court. That element disappeared in the late 1940’s. Now, a new 1,200-square- foot stained glass “laylight” has been painstakingly designed, assembled and installed to match the original. Lit from above, the stained glass ceiling is one of the most magnificent in the city.
The Plaza design team included Gal Nauer Architects, Costas Kondylis and Partners LLP, Walter B. Melvin Architects, LLC and Rani Ziss Architects. Construction Manager was Tishman Construction.
Today, The Plaza has 181 private residences, 152 spectacular hotel condominium residences – known as the Plaza Pieds-a-Terre, and an additional 130 oversize hotel rooms for overnight guests, as well as the multi-level Plaza Retail Collection.
“Our goal was simple and non-negotiable – to respect the past, continue the legend and create one of the finest hotels in the world,” Mr. Naftali said.