On this weeks show we explore the City’s most iconic, quintessential, and utterly New York-centric hotels: the Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria.
My guests will be two Rediscovering New York regulars: David Griffin, Founder and CEO of Landmark Branding, who is also the program’s Special Consultant, and Joyce Gold, Founder of Joyce Gold History Tours.
Tune in for this fascinating conversation at TalkRadio.nyc or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.
Jeff introduces his first guest, David Griffin, a regular guest on the show. To begin the podcast, David Griffin talks about where he was born and some of the places he grew up. He then talks about how he got interested in architectural history and New York City’s architectural history in particular. Afterwhich, Jeff and David move on to the topic of the show, NYC Hotels, starting with Waldorf-Astoria. David describes some of the original Waldorf-Astoria building, how it came to be, and some of its architectural designs. Following, David talks about the building’s initial public reception - which was severely negative - and how the hotel enterprise dealt with this reaction. David then gives an overview of the building's architectural changes.
Before returning to the topic of NYC hotels, David talks about how he started his business Landmark Branding. David shares how audiences can contact him and learn more about Landmark Branding. Continuing the show’s topic, David begins by talking about how the Waldorf-Astoria owners got a hold on the land to develop on it. Then, David talks about some of the hotels iconic rooms and how guests spent time around the building. This leads into the hotel’s construction history. David then shares the history of the famous clock in the Waldorf-Astoria lobby and how it was made. Jeff and David then describe some of the political and religious history surrounding the hotel. To end this segment, David shares some final thoughts on how the Waldorf-Astoria impacted our modern culture.
Jeff introduces his next guest, Joyce Gold, another show regular. Joyce begins this segment of the show by talking about where she was born, where she grew up, and how she got involved in the work she does. On the topic of The Plaza hotel, Joyce talks about what was in the area before The Plaza was constructed. Joyce then talks about how the Plaza got its name. Then, Jeff and Joyce discuss The Plaza’s architectural styles and how it came to its modern look.
For this last segment, Joyce talks about the new tours she is designing and how her tours are faring despite the current pandemic. Joyce shares how listeners can contact her and book tours themselves. On the topic of The Plaza, Joyce and Jeff talk about those who stayed at The Plaza and some of the things that were impressive back then and still are today. Jeff talks about some of the most iconic rooms to be found at The Plaza. Moving on, he then talks about some of Donald Trump’s and Trump’s family involvement with the hotel. Joyce then shares some of The Plaza’s influence on pop culture and movies.
00:00:46.800 --> 00:00:55.920 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone. Welcome to our listeners in the Big Apple from across the US and around the world. I'm Jeff Goodman and this is rediscovering New York
00:00:56.640 --> 00:01:11.040 Jeff Goodman: Professionally, as most of you know I'm a real estate broker with hosted real estate, which will be coming brown Harris Stevens in a couple of weeks, and as you know I love New York rediscovering New York as a weekly program about the history texture and vibe of this amazing city.
00:01:12.120 --> 00:01:21.090 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local artists and the occasional elected official
00:01:22.470 --> 00:01:29.640 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we focus on an individual New York neighborhood we explore its history and its energy. What makes that New York neighborhood special
00:01:30.390 --> 00:01:38.040 Jeff Goodman: Sometimes like tonight we host shows about an interesting invited color of the city and its history. That's not focused on one particular neighborhood.
00:01:38.790 --> 00:01:47.280 Jeff Goodman: On prior episodes. We've covered topics as diverse and illuminating as American presidents who came from lived in. We were had some interesting history in New York, about half of them.
00:01:47.940 --> 00:02:01.200 Jeff Goodman: We've talked about women activists in the city in the women's suffrage movement African American history. The city's LGBT and Gay Rights Movement. We've explored the history of bicycles and cycling. We've also looked at the history of punk and Opera.
00:02:02.280 --> 00:02:05.460 Jeff Goodman: We've also looked at our greatest train stations and even some of our bridges.
00:02:06.300 --> 00:02:13.050 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast. The show is available on podcast. You can hear us on Apple Spotify SoundCloud Stitcher and other services.
00:02:13.500 --> 00:02:20.790 Jeff Goodman: Tonight it's one of those special programs. It's a program about New York's most iconic hotels and for any of you who
00:02:21.120 --> 00:02:34.590 Jeff Goodman: might not know what they are. They are the plaza and the world of his story and it's a special treat. Because my two favorite regulars our guests on the show tonight. The show's special consultant David Griffin and Joyce gold of Joyce cold history tours.
00:02:35.610 --> 00:02:44.400 Jeff Goodman: First we'll get to David. David Griffin is a lifelong architectural enthusiasts providing creative sales enhancing services for the national real estate community.
00:02:44.940 --> 00:02:52.860 Jeff Goodman: He's the founder and CEO of landmark branding his clients include architects and design firms in addition to developers brokers and marketing companies.
00:02:53.580 --> 00:03:04.140 Jeff Goodman: David's room at the top series co hosted with Jennifer Wallace of nascent art. New York is the only ongoing networking series and real estate to feature tours of Manhattan's greatest buildings.
00:03:04.890 --> 00:03:12.060 Jeff Goodman: His latest blog every building on Fifth documents every single building on Fifth Avenue. That's right. Everyone every single building
00:03:12.420 --> 00:03:16.710 Jeff Goodman: From Washington Square Park right up to where Fifth Avenue ends at the Harlem River in Harlem.
00:03:17.520 --> 00:03:23.310 Jeff Goodman: David's writing has appeared in real estate weekly Metropolis to well and the national trusts preservation magazine.
00:03:23.760 --> 00:03:31.590 Jeff Goodman: David, I keep saying a hearty welcome back. I don't know what other words used by a hearty. But, you know, you're welcome is almost as always hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York
00:03:31.890 --> 00:03:33.720 David: Well, thanks a lot. Jeff always glad to be here.
00:03:34.350 --> 00:03:39.960 Jeff Goodman: I'm your regular and some of our listeners know your background, but as we still have growing numbers of listeners, some don't.
00:03:41.430 --> 00:03:45.540 Jeff Goodman: You're from the metropolitan area but not New York itself, at least not originally
00:03:46.200 --> 00:03:57.600 David: No, I was born and raised with my brother and two sisters out near Port Jeff on Long Island, and one of the first experiences we had with architecture as kids.
00:03:58.170 --> 00:04:04.620 David: Was when we were costumed interpreters at the old Bethpage restoration for the annual restoration fair
00:04:05.010 --> 00:04:11.940 David: And old Beth a frustration for listeners who aren't familiar with it is a restaurant report village, not on my Colonial Williamsburg.
00:04:12.480 --> 00:04:18.060 David: Of Dutch colonial and later buildings from Long Island, and we have the chance to sort of
00:04:18.660 --> 00:04:35.790 David: Live in the village a bit actually stay overnight and some of the older houses and it was really quite quite magical. And I think that and other similar experiences. Those sort of woke me up to a real interest in American architectural history how it developed like function for
00:04:37.230 --> 00:04:45.810 Jeff Goodman: How did you become interested in architectural history, David, and specifically in the history of New York's architecture well
00:04:45.840 --> 00:04:55.920 David: I mentioned the oldest restoration bow Bethpage both restoration and then just growing up in and around New York City, we have such a wealth of buildings to look at it is nerve.
00:04:56.340 --> 00:05:04.740 David: I was always very interested in, you know, the older ones, the more ornate ones and then as a kid, I think you can't help but really be entranced by
00:05:05.040 --> 00:05:12.810 David: The very tall new buildings are going off at the time. So I, I had a very broad sort of spectrum of things. It's interesting to me.
00:05:13.410 --> 00:05:24.300 David: When I went to Vassar I majored in art history and English at a double major. And I focused on American architecture. And that's been a focus of my career, my adult
00:05:25.440 --> 00:05:31.260 Jeff Goodman: I'm going to ask you a little bit about your, your current blog every building on faith. A little later in the program.
00:05:32.010 --> 00:05:45.540 Jeff Goodman: The first I want to go to one of the most iconic hotels, not only in New York, but in the world, the world of a story. Yes, I'm the Waldorf that we know now by the way everyone. It's a club been closed for a few years. They're doing a master renovation.
00:05:46.230 --> 00:05:57.120 Jeff Goodman: Similar to what happened at the second hotel that's a subject tonight. The, the plaza. It's undergoing a massive renovation and will be brought back to market as a hotel, but also condos.
00:05:58.620 --> 00:06:03.420 Jeff Goodman: Tell us about the original walled off a story of where it was how it got started. And of course,
00:06:03.810 --> 00:06:16.380 Jeff Goodman: We have to talk about the famous architect to design the original hotel and also I want to hear a little bit about the family dispute that helped form the shape and and and how the original hotel ended up being the way it was.
00:06:17.190 --> 00:06:25.080 David: Well, the original hotel, now known as the Waldorf Astoria strategist two separate hotels on Fifth Avenue are built by feuding relatives.
00:06:25.650 --> 00:06:37.410 David: The first hotel to go off was 13 stories 450 rooms the Waldorf hotel, and it was designed by Hannah Jane harden Burke was the architect of the Plaza Hotel which Joyce will be speaking up next.
00:06:37.740 --> 00:06:42.450 David: And the Dakota apartments on Central Park West famous Victorian apartment building.
00:06:43.350 --> 00:06:52.530 David: It opened on March 13 at 93 it was at the corner of without even the 33rd speed on the site where the millionaire developer William Waldorf asked her, had his mansion.
00:06:53.400 --> 00:07:03.720 David: Now, William asked her was planning on moving uptown anyway. But he was also motivated to do this in part by a dispute with this odd Caroline Webster's sturman one asked her.
00:07:04.470 --> 00:07:15.810 David: And he built the Waldorf hotel next door to her house on the side of his father's mansion in part to annoy her and to block her light and fresh air is very sort of private
00:07:16.680 --> 00:07:23.790 David: Woman And she thought a commercial establishment right next door was something that she tested, we have to understand what you'd
00:07:23.790 --> 00:07:31.290 Jeff Goodman: Have to you'd have to be pretty pissed off with somebody to want to spend that kind of money to build a building, just to block their light in there.
00:07:31.590 --> 00:07:39.090 David: Well, he did that. Those are there was a byproduct. This was a money making our prospect for him because he was able to charge much more for the building as a
00:07:39.750 --> 00:07:53.760 David: Site or something like that, that he would have just as a house. So in a way, he was, you know, he was making some coin off this, but the fact that she knew she would be annoyed. But it made him happy. The thing is, is that back then.
00:07:55.020 --> 00:08:02.940 David: Until this time period for many people, hotels were sort of insalubrious places, there were a couple respectable ones, of course.
00:08:03.240 --> 00:08:13.020 David: But most hotels were seen as places for transients for salesman for commercial people and for this are people who didn't have letters of introduction, so they couldn't stay with good families.
00:08:13.320 --> 00:08:22.410 David: They didn't know the people that they should know they were the new boat race or they were you know so gambling went on, hotels, a lot of drinking went on our hotels.
00:08:23.190 --> 00:08:35.430 David: So a hotel in and of itself was already sort of problematic and a lot of people thought that William Waldorf Astoria had actually ruined the neighborhood, but we put that hotel out there like oh my god cast the commercial establishment.
00:08:36.090 --> 00:08:53.910 David: And he was the first to do so. So the hotel was built in the specifications of the founding owner who is George bolt William asked her, did not own the hotel, and he owned it off your operated the Bellevue Stratford hotel, which was a fashionable hotel on Broad Street delphia
00:08:54.990 --> 00:09:09.600 David: In Pennsylvania with his wife, Louise. Now the Bellevue, I believe, is also designed by Henry hardened Berg. So this was a sort of a, an architect custom to you and it was seen as a very respectable hotel.
00:09:10.650 --> 00:09:17.760 David: Bold is also the man of commissions and the Boldt Castle and the Thousand Islands, which is now open as as a museum to the public.
00:09:18.900 --> 00:09:28.980 David: The original hotels. I said it's the 13 stories high 225 feet relatively narrow facade on Fifth Avenue only 100 feet of facade on Fifth Avenue. The main entrance
00:09:29.550 --> 00:09:38.640 David: 33rd Street of the building was really ornate and had a very complex roofline and highly ornamented balconies today's most called the German baronial style.
00:09:39.180 --> 00:09:48.330 David: Which Spartanburg also use what the Dakota. So if you want to imagine what the building. Looks like something like that. There are lots of pictures that
00:09:49.200 --> 00:09:58.170 Jeff Goodman: What was the public perception of the hotel when that thing went up, was it was it was it will receive what did. What did the people think of its design. What did they think of it as being where it was.
00:09:58.380 --> 00:10:05.130 David: Initially it was highly negative, as I said Asters neighbors thought that he had really sort of
00:10:06.210 --> 00:10:15.030 David: You know, a disservice by building something like that. It was called bolts folly and sometimes Asters folly.
00:10:15.750 --> 00:10:22.290 David: The general perception was that it had no place in New York City. People like why do we need such a you know one eight over decorated hotel.
00:10:22.860 --> 00:10:28.710 David: Calculus, and they also didn't like the location because businessmen thought that it was far north of them.
00:10:29.580 --> 00:10:34.680 David: So you know most of business at this point was south of 23rd Street by quite a bit.
00:10:35.670 --> 00:10:47.310 David: You know, finance was still really circulating around Wall Street. There wasn't the commercial aspect of midtown that we know nowadays so the thought that people would travel that far north in order to stay someplace just makes sense.
00:10:48.000 --> 00:10:56.700 Jeff Goodman: Well that's all the negativity, David, one would think that the hotel enterprise would be destined for a big flop, but it didn't flop did
00:10:56.700 --> 00:11:02.910 David: It did not. And one thing that happened was that bolt was very canny about this. He knew how to handle
00:11:03.690 --> 00:11:12.450 David: Sort of an upper class clientele and develop it, he had done so in Philadelphia. So he decided the hotel would host a benefit concert for St. Mary's Hospital for Children.
00:11:12.750 --> 00:11:19.350 David: Which was a huge draw it was a very big charity during those times, and he did so on its opening day
00:11:19.890 --> 00:11:28.380 David: So the hospital was the favorite charity have a lot of people who are on the social register the really sort of like, well, born families have lived up or down without you.
00:11:28.710 --> 00:11:36.210 David: And they came to pay $5 each for the concert and dinner at the Waldorf $5 was a significant amount of money in those times.
00:11:36.870 --> 00:11:43.980 David: And they completely change their mind once they saw how commodious the ballroom was and how beautiful the interior decoration lines.
00:11:44.370 --> 00:11:50.370 David: And all of a sudden it was no longer a business man's destination. It was a society destination.
00:11:50.880 --> 00:11:56.400 David: And it became this kind of place where it's like, oh, you know, we can actually have a ball or a huge
00:11:56.760 --> 00:12:07.530 David: dinner or something that our own mansions might not be able to comfortably accommodate by using the Waldorf oh you know cousin Trudy's coming to town. We don't really like her. Do you can't just stay at the wall.
00:12:07.980 --> 00:12:16.710 David: So all of a sudden, it became this place where people have high fashion. We're certainly interested in entering it and kind of partaking of the amenities that were offered their
00:12:17.550 --> 00:12:17.910 Jeff Goodman: Trudy
00:12:18.300 --> 00:12:24.210 David: Yes. Poor Cousin Trudy but I think she probably ate very well drank very well dressed very well and enjoy to stay
00:12:26.190 --> 00:12:31.560 Jeff Goodman: And the hotel actually almost doubled in size but after it was built. How did that. How did that happen.
00:12:31.860 --> 00:12:33.420 David: Well, well, the master.
00:12:34.890 --> 00:12:37.470 David: Master continue to feud with is on
00:12:38.880 --> 00:12:40.230 David: But with bolts assistance.
00:12:41.250 --> 00:12:53.700 David: Is not son john Jacob after the fourth managed to convince her to move up cow by building her a magnificent double chateau on Fifth Avenue around were actually Tiffany's
00:12:55.290 --> 00:13:05.550 David: So once she moved john Jacob Astro was able to sell that house as well and they constructed the other half of the Waldorf Astoria. This was called the Astro hotel.
00:13:06.000 --> 00:13:14.910 David: To hotels were joined us the Waldorf Astoria, and they were connected by an alleyway between the two buildings, the new building on the old really had an alleyway between them.
00:13:15.240 --> 00:13:25.260 David: It was called peacock alley. It was rolled with amber marble and with mirrors. It was sort of intended to recollect the hall of mirrors and precise.
00:13:25.650 --> 00:13:34.350 David: And it was called peacock ALLEY BECAUSE PEOPLE WHO dressed for dinner. What occasionally check themselves in the mirrors as they walk from the state Romans to where the, the bank.
00:13:35.670 --> 00:13:42.450 David: So it's sort of like, you know, you were P cocking if you did that sort of an interesting phrase enter terminology background.
00:13:42.900 --> 00:13:48.990 Jeff Goodman: And this was at a time, probably in the 1890s, the first decade of the last century where people just got dressed up to the hill like
00:13:49.110 --> 00:13:57.870 David: Oh yes, this was a very, very fashionable establishment Oscar sharky Oscar of the World War was a very famous Mexico hotel.
00:13:58.350 --> 00:14:12.210 David: And he was there from 1893 until 1943 that's 50 years of service and it's during that time that the hotel also became famous sports food. Now most hotels were not famous for their food. Most hotels are famous for having bad
00:14:13.260 --> 00:14:24.840 David: But he helped invent things like eggs benedict feel Oscar Thousand island dressing, which was named after the location of the police state up in upstate New York or in the St. Lawrence River.
00:14:25.500 --> 00:14:33.630 David: And yeah, so those things were sort of additions to do the fashionable menu and really kind of kept place kind of touch points going
00:14:34.140 --> 00:14:44.850 David: If they saw a lot of competition in the early 20th century, all of a sudden you had the St. Regis Knickerbocker you have the subway plaza obviously the Plaza Hotel itself and
00:14:45.870 --> 00:14:56.220 David: And by the 1920s, the hotel was sort of becoming dated it was seen as to plan it was seen as sort of overdone it wasn't a bow lifestyle or art deco style like some of the other
00:14:56.550 --> 00:15:04.170 David: Hotels that I've mentioned. And the other thing was, was that 34th Street actually was no longer the center of High Society and it moved up to Central Park.
00:15:04.650 --> 00:15:23.580 David: So it became sort of seen as a kind of outdated, place it did close and wave was sold to the developers of the Empire State Building in May of 1929 and demolish that near for the construction of the skyscrapers that we all know now stance on that particular right
00:15:25.350 --> 00:15:40.560 Jeff Goodman: Well, well, we're gonna take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with David. David Griffin of landmark branding about where the Waldorf Astoria wound up after he left saw the site of the Empire State Building will be back in a moment.
00:17:44.310 --> 00:17:54.240 Jeff Goodman: We're back to rediscovering New York and our episode about to have New York's I Connick and quintessential New York centric hotels, as I call them,
00:17:54.570 --> 00:18:04.860 Jeff Goodman: The Waldorf Astoria, and the plaza. My first guest is David Griffin of landmark branding David's also the show special consultant David, how did you get started with landmark branding. How did you start the business.
00:18:05.640 --> 00:18:14.820 David: Well, I was always interested in writing about architecture and did so for a number of magazines, and websites and then when the downturn of 2008 occurred.
00:18:15.210 --> 00:18:27.240 David: A lot of freelance work really sort of dried up. So I thought, well, I still want to continue to do so. And I'd like to do it professionally. I have that when I was working as an arts consultants or Thomas of associates, which is very well known terms of time.
00:18:28.290 --> 00:18:44.370 David: But I started branching out around 2013 or so and founded the business as a sort of a side project and then switched over full time and 2017 and have been working in writing with architects developers designers and other people
00:18:46.050 --> 00:18:49.980 Jeff Goodman: And then more printing does what specifically in your main line of business.
00:18:50.520 --> 00:18:57.810 David: While we do marketing support. And basically that's very varied, it's everything from creating listings BIOS
00:18:58.350 --> 00:19:04.770 David: Team profiles and other types of writing and assisting with website content to system with blog content.
00:19:05.160 --> 00:19:12.930 David: assisting with things like podcasts and films I've actually done a series of film projects with some broker clients of mine, a lot of fun doing that.
00:19:13.350 --> 00:19:23.040 David: A lot of the VIP events special tours and things like that. I work as a director of referrals more compass.
00:19:23.640 --> 00:19:35.790 David: And I work with Mickey ban, there was a great client and a wonderful person to work with. I also Jennifer Wallace developing the room at the top series, which is towards the spark skyscrapers.
00:19:36.480 --> 00:19:44.610 David: Obviously that's a bit on hold down because of coven but we are hoping we're hoping she and I should come up with a virtual version of that that we think will be very interesting.
00:19:45.090 --> 00:19:56.670 David: Developing a book project on the history of the penthouse apartment that will also be samples up and the blog that you mentioned every building on step I am returning to some updated photos and
00:19:58.830 --> 00:20:04.230 Jeff Goodman: It actually it's quite a tome. It's a there are how many hundreds of entries on every building on Fifth
00:20:04.500 --> 00:20:14.700 David: Well, there's at least 500 entries and it's about 390 buildings, because some of the entries or articles or profiles of people or projects.
00:20:15.690 --> 00:20:22.950 David: It really was remarkable. It took me years to do because I had to photograph the buildings myself so sort of like, you know, find the time to go down. Walk around
00:20:24.720 --> 00:20:32.640 David: And continue one, but it was really it was quite eye opening and know fit that means now to do that sees a certain amount of prominence in a certain amount of change.
00:20:35.310 --> 00:20:35.880 Overall,
00:20:37.200 --> 00:20:41.580 Jeff Goodman: Well, hopefully, except for one big black building on Fifth Avenue, but we weren't talking about that one tonight.
00:20:42.990 --> 00:20:46.560 Jeff Goodman: And how can people find out about your company and also your blog.
00:20:47.190 --> 00:20:58.530 David: My website is a landmark branding calm and the blog is linked there under blog is every building on it. I can also be reached at a D Griffin at landmark branding conference.
00:21:01.350 --> 00:21:05.040 David: And I'm always happy to review any type of queries or questions, why not
00:21:05.970 --> 00:21:12.360 Jeff Goodman: Well, in case anyone was wondering when I mentioned that big black BUILDING ON FIFTH. I WAS NOT REFERRING TO BLACK ROCK CBS HEADQUARTERS. That's on Sixth Avenue.
00:21:12.570 --> 00:21:28.680 Jeff Goodman: Right away, but but we might get to subject of that building a little bit later on today. So, the world of a story and moved to a new location. It's now on Fifth Street and Park Avenue. Um, how did the owners acquire the land for the hotel on the site.
00:21:29.580 --> 00:21:37.950 David: Well, the land for the hotel was formerly owned by New York Central Railroad, and they operated a power plan for Grand Central Terminal on site.
00:21:38.520 --> 00:21:47.340 David: And they no longer needed the plant. They wanted to help develop the area, as we all know, the railroad lines have been stuck the nice Park Avenue at that point.
00:21:47.700 --> 00:21:54.930 David: In order to kind of help clear that space for entirely new types of zoning so fashionable residential architecture was
00:21:55.560 --> 00:22:09.150 David: Lining speaks at a time. The office buildings and we're familiar with that know from Grand Central all the way up to 59th Street Rome later edition, but the Waldorf Astoria was really positioned to be what people call us now the new center of New York City.
00:22:12.630 --> 00:22:17.550 Jeff Goodman: Well, such an illustrious hotel, because it when it was built. It was the biggest hotel.
00:22:17.610 --> 00:22:18.750 Jeff Goodman: That had ever been built
00:22:19.500 --> 00:22:22.920 Jeff Goodman: It had to have a really splashing opening, even though it was during the depression.
00:22:23.730 --> 00:22:29.310 David: Well, when they started building they felt things were fine. And then, of course, they weren't
00:22:30.330 --> 00:22:35.070 David: The building opened up on October 1 of 1931
00:22:36.150 --> 00:22:41.370 David: It was also the tallest hotel at the time. And in addition to being the largest it covers the entire block.
00:22:41.850 --> 00:22:51.270 David: And it consisted of about 100 suites. About one third of which released as private residences. A lot of people actually did live full time at hotels during that period.
00:22:51.780 --> 00:23:02.340 David: So on opening night President Herbert Hoover actually gave a radio broadcast from the White House, and when he started to identify the Waldorf is a symbol of American business forging ahead and then oppression.
00:23:02.820 --> 00:23:08.820 David: Kind of a symbol of American civilization as well as architectural culture and engineering.
00:23:09.990 --> 00:23:27.690 David: Sort of a capability and there were 2000 people in the ballroom listening to the speech, however, ironically, by the end of the business day the 2200 room hotel only had 500 articles and it really wasn't until 1939 that the Waldorf Astoria began
00:23:29.910 --> 00:23:36.600 Jeff Goodman: It sounds like a similar story to the art deco depression era colossal building that replaced it.
00:23:36.930 --> 00:23:39.180 Jeff Goodman: The Empire State Building which also did not make
00:23:39.300 --> 00:23:42.300 Jeff Goodman: make a profit. I think even until after the war, maybe in the late 40s.
00:23:42.570 --> 00:23:49.290 David: Yes, I think it was the late 40s that they really began to pick up and prior to that it was known as the empty state building to detractors
00:23:50.730 --> 00:23:59.370 David: But you know the the original hotel really kind of threw itself into its job as a rep it as a place for very glamorous dinner parties. And that was sort of
00:23:59.700 --> 00:24:10.740 David: A place to go. And it has functions. So in some ways the Waldorf functioned a lot for New York City and its residents, even more so than as a hotel, just as the original had down on 34th Street.
00:24:11.460 --> 00:24:23.520 David: And so during the 1930s, 1940s, the guests also had a lot of entertainment choices. There was the very famous very elegant Starlight Room. The roof roof top nightclub.
00:24:24.150 --> 00:24:36.840 David: And the Waldorf Astoria orchestra was very famous musician, such as glenn miller would play there. So there were reasons to go actually out and use the hotel and spend money that weren't necessarily tied in
00:24:38.160 --> 00:24:48.390 Jeff Goodman: The night. Huh. Well, let's talk about the hotels construction, David, and I'm in reading up about it. It sounds a little similar though not quite the same scale as the Empire State Building.
00:24:48.660 --> 00:25:00.660 Jeff Goodman: As far as the amount of of materials they had to bring in, you know, flat car, you know, railroad car after railroad car stone dirt. You know how, what was the construction of this of this colossal hotel like
00:25:00.780 --> 00:25:12.120 David: Well, it was, it is probably one of the largest projects of its time in New York City. And no, it's not anywhere near as tall as the Empire State Building. But I believe it actually covers a slightly larger footprint.
00:25:12.990 --> 00:25:18.810 David: So it was designed by the architect Shelton Weaver, who are noted for their art deco building and
00:25:19.740 --> 00:25:31.830 David: It involves something like 200 railroad cars of 800,000 cubic feet of limestone for the buildings facing. There were 27,000 tons of steel for the skeletons superstructure.
00:25:32.220 --> 00:25:39.030 David: And over 1500 million square feet of terra cotta and block for decoration purposes.
00:25:39.720 --> 00:25:47.940 David: The towers themselves or brick face, and on the other side. Many people to believe that the builders ran out of money. They were expected to be limestone, all the way up.
00:25:48.540 --> 00:26:02.220 David: In fact, they've always been intended that way. And if you look at a lot of the art deco expressions architecture even prior to crash 1929 they made a lot of these reps, because they felt the pattern services helped break up the monumentality and make them more active.
00:26:02.880 --> 00:26:04.230 Jeff Goodman: Like the Chrysler Building, for example.
00:26:04.290 --> 00:26:14.400 David: Yes, the Chrysler building a lot of works by Robert Walker, a lot of works that you see that, you know, have stolen bases are pattern rubric as they arise further
00:26:15.540 --> 00:26:25.440 Jeff Goodman: I want to ask you about a little appointment, not so little that famous clock in the world, or if it actually predates the construction of the hotel. How did it get to the Waldorf. Where did it come from what's
00:26:26.280 --> 00:26:36.510 David: The lobby the clock that Jeff is speaking about for those aren't familiar with it is a incredible piece of Victoriana it actually looks as if it came from the original Waldorf Astoria.
00:26:37.080 --> 00:26:47.700 David: And if it did, but it wasn't actually designed for the Waldorf Astoria. It's 4000 pounds of bronze and it was built by gold.
00:26:48.360 --> 00:26:55.080 David: Was the leading sort of watchmaker in London at the time for the 1893 World Cup of the exposition in Chicago.
00:26:55.680 --> 00:27:05.910 David: And it was commissioned by Queen Victoria herself. She wanted to try to create a project that had her stamp on it. And this was the one that she selected.
00:27:06.240 --> 00:27:13.410 David: And that's one of the reasons why. Although the base, which is our title of the part is decorated primitive blacks of presidents, such as George Washington
00:27:13.770 --> 00:27:20.070 David: Abraham Lincoln Ulysses S. Grant. They knew they were playing. In other words, to an American audience and also represents Queen Victoria.
00:27:21.030 --> 00:27:31.890 David: It is talked to buy a step called the Statue of Liberty, that is not part of the original clock design. Remember, this is a British firm, they went to selected a French project to kind of
00:27:31.890 --> 00:27:37.650 David: cap off their masterpiece that was something that was given to the Strasser from the French Government.
00:27:38.700 --> 00:27:56.580 David: In addition, for services that he tried to perform for French citizens and it was in addition to the original design and when Queen Victoria heard that her clock had been desecrated with that French statue. She actually tried to buy it back, and he wouldn't sell it to her.
00:27:57.690 --> 00:28:10.470 David: So it is the only piece of decor from the original decorator program. And again, it was purchased after the fact to make it to the art deco building. So it actually is kind of amazing praetorian month
00:28:11.400 --> 00:28:20.370 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking of international relations of one sort or another. There was some considerable this some considerable Diplomatic History of the Waldorf isn't there. Yes.
00:28:20.520 --> 00:28:22.920 David: There were tremendous numbers of
00:28:24.780 --> 00:28:36.990 David: Sort of important people important things that happened, particularly during the Cold War and the Waldorf Astoria played a considerable role and international relations. During the immediate post for years.
00:28:37.830 --> 00:28:45.360 David: From November 4 of December 12 1926 pounds and most notable of these was the big for conference which was held in the apartment.
00:28:45.900 --> 00:28:56.490 David: Georgian rumor on 37th floor of the towers between the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union, to discuss the future of these ignorant, how they were going to kind of manage that.
00:28:57.750 --> 00:29:10.140 David: From its inception, the motor was always popular foreign dignitaries of every kind destroyed China stayed in the hotel in 1896 and original hotel and feasted on hundred year old eggs. He actually proud with them.
00:29:11.130 --> 00:29:21.870 David: But other guests that the more modern building include princes faster, more away free Fabiola Belgium King Hussein of Jordan explain your expenses face of Monaco.
00:29:22.320 --> 00:29:30.030 David: And Juliana the Netherlands King Michael of Romania and Crown Prince Akihito and the princess Monica. She saw of Japan.
00:29:30.990 --> 00:29:42.360 David: Queen Elizabeth the Second and Prince Philip stayed at the hotel during their first visit to America in 1957 and the queen and the prince concert always stayed at the Waldorf whenever they pass
00:29:44.070 --> 00:29:46.290 Jeff Goodman: I'm guessing the state in the presidential suite, where they were there.
00:29:46.920 --> 00:29:49.230 David: I believe there was a sweet named for them.
00:29:49.320 --> 00:29:53.550 David: Oh really, I don't think it was the presidential suite. I think there is a royal sweet, it was
00:29:53.730 --> 00:29:54.060 Jeff Goodman: Well,
00:29:54.240 --> 00:29:55.470 David: Or for other members of the world.
00:29:56.430 --> 00:30:08.850 Jeff Goodman: I wonder if it's nicer than the presidential suite. You know, one of the interesting thing about about diplomatic in International History at the Waldorf even the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls was touched by that hotel.
00:30:09.300 --> 00:30:14.070 David: Yes. In 1954 the Israeli statesman, an archaeologist again again.
00:30:14.520 --> 00:30:26.370 David: That secretly with the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop more Samuel in the basement of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to negotiate the purchase of for Dead Sea Scrolls for Israel for their cultural library.
00:30:26.910 --> 00:30:33.270 David: Suppose we're Captain involved with the loan officer for a brand new york's chemical bank at the request of the Israeli Government.
00:30:33.720 --> 00:30:45.090 David: The biblical scholar, Dr. Harry or Minsky examine this falls at the Waldorf and verify their authenticity gate and paid a quarter of a million for all swore, which is actually
00:30:45.840 --> 00:30:54.720 David: Something of a bargain. It sounds. These days, considering their historical reasons, but yes, that all took place in the basement of the law office.
00:30:56.220 --> 00:31:05.640 Jeff Goodman: Table. We have about a minute left, and there any lingering things in our culture that stand out to you that we have the Waldorf story to to thank for
00:31:06.300 --> 00:31:11.070 David: Well Waldorf salad is probably the one that most people are familiar with. So dish.
00:31:11.460 --> 00:31:20.280 David: Grapes celery apples and a mayonnaise based dressing like you can't use Thousand Island. Some people add things like chicken or turkey to it.
00:31:20.670 --> 00:31:26.340 David: And it was created with sometimes called green salad because all the components of us being grapes green apples or green
00:31:26.730 --> 00:31:33.690 David: And as soon as a kind of a very light and elegant way to have a lunch. So that's, that's probably the thing most people think of for me.
00:31:34.260 --> 00:31:46.920 David: One of my favorite moments at the Waldorf was attending the beanies offer fall, which was held at the Waldorf until it's closure 2017 modeled after the one in Vienna and held in February.
00:31:47.490 --> 00:31:54.450 David: The Grand Ballroom was a traditional location because it was the only ballroom in New York City big enough to accommodate two horse drawn carriages.
00:31:55.020 --> 00:32:02.790 David: Which are traditionally incorporated into the ball program. So our mutual friend Richard Gabrielle was leading the dance that evening.
00:32:03.570 --> 00:32:15.840 David: It is one of the last white tie balls to be held regularly and mark and it really gives you some insight into how the hotel works as a place for these incredibly grand functions, you know, thousands of people are attending
00:32:16.320 --> 00:32:30.390 David: Hundreds of people are dancing, you know, full banquet services is given, there's a tans breakfast that goes on till 5am but you never feel like you don't know where you are, you never feel like there's not enough face. It really wasn't magically
00:32:31.080 --> 00:32:34.170 Jeff Goodman: Sounds like the end of the second act of deflator mouse by Strauss
00:32:35.070 --> 00:32:43.860 Jeff Goodman: David, thank you so much. Our first guests on this show of rediscovering New York about New York's iconic and quintessential hotels.
00:32:44.250 --> 00:32:56.940 Jeff Goodman: Has been David Griffin of landmark branding David is our show special consultant and you can read about his business and also about his blog every building on Fifth ON WWW dot landmark branding com thank you David.
00:32:57.180 --> 00:32:57.840 David: Thank you.
00:32:58.110 --> 00:33:08.820 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to speak with another regular on rediscovering New York about New York's other iconic amazing hotel. We'll be back in a moment.
00:35:21.600 --> 00:35:27.180 Jeff Goodman: We're back and you're back to rediscovering New York support for the program comes from our sponsors.
00:35:27.750 --> 00:35:38.160 Jeff Goodman: The mark mind and team mortgage strategist at freedom mortgage for assistance in any kind of residential mortgage mark and his team can be reached at 646-330-4735
00:35:39.060 --> 00:35:47.490 Jeff Goodman: And support also comes from the Law Offices of Thomas the ACA focus on on excuse me, focusing on wills estate planning probate and inheritance litigation.
00:35:48.000 --> 00:35:58.170 Jeff Goodman: Tom and his staff can be reached at 212-495-0317 our show is about New York. It's neighborhoods its history and the myriad textures of our amazing city.
00:35:58.830 --> 00:36:06.480 Jeff Goodman: There's another great show on the air about New York and specifically about the business of real estate. Good morning, New York with Vince Rocco my friend and colleague at Halston
00:36:07.170 --> 00:36:13.020 Jeff Goodman: Vince's show airs live on Tuesday mornings at 9am you can hear him on voice America calm and also on podcast.
00:36:13.530 --> 00:36:26.460 Jeff Goodman: You can like this show on Facebook. And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter. My handles. There are Jeff Goodman NYC. If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York dot NYC.
00:36:27.570 --> 00:36:32.340 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though rediscovering New York is not sure about real estate.
00:36:32.790 --> 00:36:39.240 Jeff Goodman: When I'm not on the air. I am indeed a real estate agent now amazing city I help my clients buy, sell lease and read property.
00:36:39.840 --> 00:36:46.080 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of a within New York. I would love to help you with all those real estate needs.
00:36:46.620 --> 00:36:57.540 Jeff Goodman: You can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761 our second guest tonight, almost needs no introduction, but introduce her. I will
00:36:57.930 --> 00:37:06.390 Jeff Goodman: Joyce gold is a recognized expert and educator in New York history and for over 40 years has been guiding the York is in visitors are like to rave reviews.
00:37:06.750 --> 00:37:09.810 Jeff Goodman: Through her private walking towards as well as towards open to the public.
00:37:10.590 --> 00:37:17.130 Jeff Goodman: Choices published to guidebooks. One of them is from windmills to the World Trade Center of walking guide through the history of Lower Manhattan.
00:37:17.490 --> 00:37:21.840 Jeff Goodman: And from trout stream to Bohemia, a walking God through the history of Greenwich Village.
00:37:22.470 --> 00:37:32.340 Jeff Goodman: Joyce has contributed entries to the Encyclopedia of New York City. And if that wasn't enough, the New York Times recently called Joyce and this is a quote the joy in of new york city tour guides
00:37:32.730 --> 00:37:40.380 Jeff Goodman: A level of recognition any tour guide, not only would relish, but might even kill for and we welcome back to rediscovering New York choice gold.
00:37:41.340 --> 00:37:42.510 Jeff Goodman: Jeff, welcome back.
00:37:42.780 --> 00:37:43.860 Joyce Gold: Thank you very much.
00:37:44.400 --> 00:37:47.250 Jeff Goodman: Well, unlike David, you're not originally from New York, where are you from,
00:37:47.880 --> 00:38:05.280 Joyce Gold: I am from a small beautiful town in Pennsylvania Hazleton PA and the Eastern third of the state. I live there through the eighth grade, and it was lived in that part of the state through the eighth grade and then move to New York. So I've been here for a very long time.
00:38:06.090 --> 00:38:12.870 Jeff Goodman: How did you get involved in the work that you do. Specifically, bringing new york's history to life for the people who were lucky enough to actually
00:38:13.170 --> 00:38:13.980 Jeff Goodman: Go on your tours.
00:38:14.640 --> 00:38:28.440 Joyce Gold: Well, you might say that it really started when I lived in Pennsylvania, because my parents and I often plan visits to New York to see all the sites, but often we didn't, we weren't able to make it so I wanted to give people
00:38:29.070 --> 00:38:34.260 Joyce Gold: The city that in a way was just out of reach for me for all my childhood years
00:38:34.980 --> 00:38:44.400 Joyce Gold: When we moved to New York after a while I was a computer analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. One day I picked up 100 year old history book of the city.
00:38:44.790 --> 00:38:57.600 Joyce Gold: It was about streets, I passed every day going to work and it changed my daily experience because everything started meaning something different to me something new. I talked about the layers of time.
00:38:58.530 --> 00:39:05.400 Joyce Gold: What the city was like over different years. And I was just fucked haven't stopped reading you know all that time.
00:39:06.300 --> 00:39:16.800 Jeff Goodman: Well, we're going to go to the Plaza Hotel, a little bit further north from where the Fed is by the way everyone. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is in the financial district. It's on maiden lane, and we're going to travel north to 59 Street.
00:39:17.430 --> 00:39:28.290 Jeff Goodman: Let's talk about the side of the Plaza Hotel. The fame Plaza Hotel, what was there before the plaza went up the Central Park was already designed, built and was and was there actually on on 59 stream Fifth Avenue.
00:39:28.560 --> 00:39:50.520 Joyce Gold: Yeah, Central Park was mostly done in the 1860s and what was on the side of the present Plaza Hotel. First of all, was skating rink and then in 1890 was the first Plaza Hotel, so like the Waldorf Astoria. It's also had to structures with the original name.
00:39:51.540 --> 00:40:06.960 Jeff Goodman: How did it get the name the positive. Positive pretty Central. You know, it's like it in tones something very central because at that time the life of New York would not really have been that far north what it had been David talked about it being, you know, focus more downtown
00:40:07.800 --> 00:40:17.730 Joyce Gold: Well, a Central Park was what really brought a lot of people up to that upper part compared to Wall Street upper part of the island.
00:40:18.270 --> 00:40:24.720 Joyce Gold: And so many people have means had there was a lot of new money in the town, a lot of them had carriages.
00:40:25.050 --> 00:40:32.130 Joyce Gold: And there were so many carriages that they had to wait before they could get on to the carriage loads of the park.
00:40:32.430 --> 00:40:41.910 Joyce Gold: And so that's the origin of the plaza, it was the area where the Central Park carriages waited. Now the plaza that the hotel picking up that name.
00:40:42.630 --> 00:41:00.600 Joyce Gold: Is is the Grand Army Plaza, and it's RAM, because it's a nice size and it also commemorates the Union soldiers of the Civil War, so it's on the plaza. It's one of the very few and prominent buildings that have to up to
00:41:01.650 --> 00:41:08.040 Joyce Gold: Two weeks on a corner. And so they're celebrating being at the Plaza by taking the name
00:41:09.240 --> 00:41:26.100 Jeff Goodman: I'm not to be confused with the famous Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, which in my mind is probably the most magnificent intersection in the whole city. But be that as it may, um, the hotel that we have now on as the plaza was not the original Plaza. What was the original Plaza Hotel like
00:41:26.790 --> 00:41:35.520 Joyce Gold: Well, it was a lot smaller. That was one thing on the comedian white or the second group of architects that worked on it and
00:41:36.630 --> 00:41:43.950 Joyce Gold: It was a little away from where people were living, although that neighborhood was becoming beginning to become the new hotel district of the city.
00:41:44.880 --> 00:41:58.140 Joyce Gold: Investors found that they needed something bigger to make a profit, the head of for construction company was one of the investors, the famous bet a million geeks, who was a gambler, as well as investor.
00:41:58.710 --> 00:42:15.810 Joyce Gold: So they wanted something larger and that's how the 18 story second Plaza Hotel opened on the site in 1907 and like the Waldorf I'm going to have so many parallels. It was started in the Gilded Age of the city.
00:42:17.340 --> 00:42:18.630 Jeff Goodman: And actually there was a little bit of a
00:42:19.650 --> 00:42:28.140 Jeff Goodman: Not a sordid story, but a an unfortunate side to the plaza story, which was the property was foreclosed upon way back when, buy life insurance company.
00:42:28.440 --> 00:42:29.220 Joyce Gold: Yes, that's true.
00:42:30.000 --> 00:42:39.570 Jeff Goodman: Not to be confused with the threat of foreclosure by our more recent owner. We won't we won't go there. God, I can't help myself sometimes as well. It's, it's, it's the week of the Republican convention.
00:42:40.290 --> 00:42:55.500 Jeff Goodman: Um, the, the plaza now looks like a large French chateau. How is this, we can meet and white were amazing architect was amazing architectural firm. Why did the new owners decide on this new look, this is French chateau look
00:42:56.130 --> 00:43:02.400 Joyce Gold: Well, the French chateau sort of evoking the 16th century, Francis. The first two had
00:43:02.970 --> 00:43:22.830 Joyce Gold: A lot of homes around France. One of them is now the loop which gives you an idea of the grandiosity of it all. And that was a very fashionable style. There are many buildings along Fifth Avenue, especially a long, long Fifth Avenue next to Central Park that were in that style so
00:43:24.210 --> 00:43:42.480 Joyce Gold: You know, in America, we often try to outdo what's in Europe, and so the chateaus will load bearing walls. The walls held up the building but in 1889 New York get six first building where the walls. Don't hold up the building but steel girders do so the 18 story.
00:43:43.530 --> 00:43:55.890 Joyce Gold: 1907 plaza looks like a French chateau but it's considerably bigger higher than French at toes are and it's held up by steel. So it's also a skyscraper.
00:43:57.180 --> 00:44:00.780 Jeff Goodman: What was the public reception like for the new structure when it went up.
00:44:01.290 --> 00:44:18.840 Joyce Gold: Well, they were quite amazed because it was the most expensive building that have ever been built in New York, almost everything inside was marble and it was very thick gorgeous imported from France marble 59th Street at that time was the original entrance and people came in their characters.
00:44:19.980 --> 00:44:21.570 Joyce Gold: And pardon me, and walked through
00:44:23.250 --> 00:44:31.350 Joyce Gold: Past the great marble. Yes. And we're amazed at how it looked so it was very well received.
00:44:32.640 --> 00:44:44.310 Jeff Goodman: We're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Joyce gold Joyce called history tours about the fame to Plaza Hotel and 59th Street in Central Park South will be back in a moment.
00:46:34.110 --> 00:46:43.770 Jeff Goodman: We're back to a special program of special edition of rediscovering New York about New York's famed hotels, like all the new york new york centric hotels.
00:46:44.610 --> 00:46:48.720 Jeff Goodman: We talked about the world of history in the first part of the show. And now we're at the Plaza.
00:46:49.470 --> 00:47:02.250 Jeff Goodman: My guests, talking about the plaza is Joyce cold and Joyce called history tourists tourists. One of the things that I really love about your business. And then I admire about it is the amount of new content that you keep coming up with and the amount of new tours.
00:47:03.060 --> 00:47:08.100 Jeff Goodman: Unfortunately, like many of your, your co tour directors. You've, you've had to put
00:47:08.820 --> 00:47:20.520 Jeff Goodman: Your business on hold because of the pandemic. But what what are some of the latest tours that you've been putting together that we can expect to take advantage of when we can start congregating around each other again.
00:47:21.270 --> 00:47:36.270 Joyce Gold: Oh, I just put together a tour of the West seven days in the Upper West Side, and I found all kinds of interesting things about it. I love to design tours, because I learned so much and it's fun to make connections with things that I already know.
00:47:38.520 --> 00:47:42.540 Jeff Goodman: Well, it sounds like a great tour for us to partner right again when we, when we resume.
00:47:43.560 --> 00:47:45.810 Jeff Goodman: Touring. Um, what is your website.
00:47:46.770 --> 00:47:59.790 Joyce Gold: My website is Joyce gold history tours.com and my email is Joyce at choice gold history tours.com
00:48:00.180 --> 00:48:11.430 Joyce Gold: I am giving private tours these days because although I do a lot of tours of large groups. These days it's mostly one or two couples that want to take it around with
00:48:12.240 --> 00:48:21.270 Joyce Gold: You know, social distancing and masks, but it's good. It gets very personal and sort of the sign of the comeback of the city, I'd say.
00:48:21.840 --> 00:48:40.620 Joyce Gold: My public tours, which are just show up on a Sunday or Saturday, and I'll give a tour of a pre arranged neighborhood. Those will start sometime next year, but your listeners can get on my mailing list and we'll be able to find out about both types of Tours, I do when they're available.
00:48:41.490 --> 00:48:43.050 Jeff Goodman: And you also have an Instagram account.
00:48:43.680 --> 00:48:46.710 Joyce Gold: I do. It's choice goal is street towards
00:48:48.270 --> 00:48:57.180 Jeff Goodman: Imagine that I'm getting back to the plaza. I want to talk about some of the first of the puzzle. But first I want to talk about some of the people who actually live there. It wasn't just
00:48:57.540 --> 00:49:01.950 Jeff Goodman: A place where people stayed when they were in New York that actually had some pretty famous residents over the years.
00:49:02.400 --> 00:49:08.700 Joyce Gold: Exactly. And you know, when first open 90% of the people who stayed there were permanent residents.
00:49:09.150 --> 00:49:15.570 Joyce Gold: For example, the very first guy who checked in as fast as it could have been brought up right across the street.
00:49:15.990 --> 00:49:26.880 Joyce Gold: In the largest home ever built in Manhattan. The, the hundred and 53 room mansion of the favorite grandson of Commodore Vanderbilt.
00:49:27.360 --> 00:49:37.110 Joyce Gold: So Alfred when Vanderbilt moved in with his I think not with his wife, because they were on the outs at the time but servant, and he stayed there for quite a long time.
00:49:38.040 --> 00:49:48.030 Joyce Gold: Solomon Guggenheim stayed there and Frank Lloyd Wright stayed there in the 1950s, while he was designing the Guggenheim Museum for Solomon good
00:49:49.650 --> 00:49:54.990 Jeff Goodman: Well, let's talk about some of the first set the plaza had as a hotel. What were some of the things that people
00:49:55.560 --> 00:50:04.650 Jeff Goodman: Back then, might have been more impressed within that we certainly would still be impressed with today, having heard about the plaza having, having created those things and done those things.
00:50:04.920 --> 00:50:15.630 Joyce Gold: Yeah. Well, there were just very beautiful rooms. There was a men's grill that's now called the Edwardian room. There was the men's bar which is now called
00:50:17.070 --> 00:50:28.020 Joyce Gold: The open bar and these were very new kinds of things. They had a couple of restaurants at the southeast corner one for permanent residents one for others.
00:50:28.470 --> 00:50:45.120 Joyce Gold: And during prohibition and the 1920s. It was turned into a US Studebaker car showroom of all things, and then became something very famous the Parisian room with incredible performers displaying their talents to the public.
00:50:46.140 --> 00:50:52.860 Jeff Goodman: How did they get Carson, did they have to take part of the facade off to kill you. They just assemble them and assemble them. I didn't know that about the plaza.
00:50:53.670 --> 00:50:54.690 Joyce Gold: That's what it was.
00:50:56.220 --> 00:51:08.160 Jeff Goodman: Well, some of them, the famous people who sang in the Persian room Josephine Baker Eartha Kitt lives a Lena Horne Marlena Dietrich Ethel Merman Shirley Bassey Andy Williams Patty page and Peggy Lee.
00:51:08.670 --> 00:51:09.150 And
00:51:10.590 --> 00:51:12.870 Joyce Gold: Same with Shawn to so if they aren't as well.
00:51:14.100 --> 00:51:16.890 Jeff Goodman: And of course, Shirley Bassey is still is, is still with us.
00:51:18.780 --> 00:51:27.960 Jeff Goodman: You know, I was lucky enough to have been to too many parts of the plaza, I never died in the NYT room. But of course, like many people marveled in the palm court spent
00:51:29.070 --> 00:51:39.030 Jeff Goodman: A number of evenings in the in the Oak Room bar, which was reportedly to be sort of a quiet gay bar back in the day. I remember there were a lot of a man who would go there.
00:51:40.830 --> 00:51:46.770 Jeff Goodman: And also the oyster bar which which was on the lower level which which which was a lot of fun and hopefully will still be there.
00:51:48.120 --> 00:51:59.400 Jeff Goodman: The hotel was bought in 1988 by Donald Trump, who was a real estate magnate in New York, before he became president and his wife Ivana was installed as its president
00:52:00.540 --> 00:52:01.320 Jeff Goodman: It's sort of
00:52:03.540 --> 00:52:12.840 Jeff Goodman: presage the what happened at the Waldorf Astoria. He put together a plan to sell some of the they've had a renovation to sell some office condos.
00:52:13.560 --> 00:52:25.620 Jeff Goodman: But maybe not into on trumping and forum. They couldn't support the debt and credit is led by City Bank agreed to write them a quarter of a billion dollars in loans for 49% stake
00:52:26.040 --> 00:52:36.330 Jeff Goodman: In what was known as a pre packaged bankruptcy in 1992 and it was also right in the middle of his bankruptcies in Atlantic City casinos. There were five of them, by the way, plus the plaza that makes a total of six.
00:52:38.310 --> 00:52:40.920 Jeff Goodman: What choice. What are some of the more famous
00:52:42.300 --> 00:52:49.380 Jeff Goodman: Representations and things culturally that have happened in the plaza over the years. Popular culture movies, things like that.
00:52:50.280 --> 00:53:06.720 Joyce Gold: Well there. It's one of the most movies places in town. They say they are over three dozen major films and a lot of the more in the 70s or earlier, for example, my personal favorite 1959 North by Northwest
00:53:07.320 --> 00:53:15.810 Joyce Gold: The Alfred Hitchcock movie and it begins with Cary Grant going into the plaza the background music was it's the most unusual day
00:53:16.320 --> 00:53:26.370 Joyce Gold: And then he is mistaken for a spy in the room, and it's taken away and gets on to hide from the place until you get out of town.
00:53:27.000 --> 00:53:38.850 Joyce Gold: So that's one plaza suite came out in 1971 about three couples who all used sweet 719 I know is the three dimensional tour.
00:53:39.660 --> 00:53:45.750 Joyce Gold: Movie of The Great Gatsby that came out in 74 with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow
00:53:46.410 --> 00:54:09.060 Joyce Gold: I wasn't very well received, the way we work came out in 1974 Crocodile Dundee stayed there home alone too lost in New York was they are in fact it was so successful that the plaza offered packages for children and their parents and to sort of make the most of having been in that cell.
00:54:10.500 --> 00:54:19.230 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking of children. We can't visit the plaza without talking about probably its most famous character. Over the years, Eloise
00:54:19.800 --> 00:54:24.300 Jeff Goodman: Who was Eloise, who was Eloise, when, when did she show up in our culture and now
00:54:24.330 --> 00:54:37.920 Joyce Gold: In the 1950s, she was well let me go back to the person who K Thompson was one of the singers at the Parisian room and she liked to speak with a very CHILDLIKE VOICE a friend of hers worked at Harper's
00:54:38.580 --> 00:54:50.010 Joyce Gold: Publishing Company and said, You should really write a book about that. So she wrote about Eloise, a six year old who lived a top floor of the Plaza Hotel with her nanny.
00:54:50.460 --> 00:55:00.780 Joyce Gold: And did things that you know good children are not supposed to do, but she got away with it. For example, She liked to call the room service and have them.
00:55:01.590 --> 00:55:08.220 Joyce Gold: Press wash and press or sneakers. For example, and this was another character that the
00:55:08.670 --> 00:55:25.770 Joyce Gold: Hotel took advantage of because they put together for a while. The Eloise room and when young children came to the low Israel they would always be told, oh sorry, you just missed her she's putting water down the mail shoot right now they made the most
00:55:26.910 --> 00:55:38.610 Joyce Gold: And that was, that was important enough to the hotel that cake comps, and had a free sweet but then I believe it was the Westin hotels. At one point, took over the hotel.
00:55:39.030 --> 00:55:50.550 Joyce Gold: In the 70s and times were kind of tough and they told her that she had to pay for sweet. Well, she left the hotel she removed everything that she has the rights to for Eloise
00:55:51.180 --> 00:56:02.460 Joyce Gold: But the only thing that remains is the portrait of Eloise, because she didn't own that that was the property and still is the property and kings in his 90s now of
00:56:03.060 --> 00:56:10.590 Joyce Gold: The Illustrator, the man who illustrated both her blog or Eloise books and who drew the portrait.
00:56:10.980 --> 00:56:18.570 Joyce Gold: But the plaque that tells you that it's Eloise has been removed. But everybody knows who it is. This is actually the second Eloise
00:56:18.900 --> 00:56:32.040 Joyce Gold: Portrait on the site because in the 1960s, there was some kind of college night and the painting mysteriously disappeared, and it had to be redone and you're looking at the second one now.
00:56:32.130 --> 00:56:41.040 Jeff Goodman: Oh, wow. And of course, another famous party that happened in the 60s was when Truman Capote he hosted his fame black and white party in honor of Katharine Graham.
00:56:41.550 --> 00:56:50.430 Joyce Gold: Well, yes, it was supposed to be an honor of her the publisher of The Washington Post, but some say it was really an honor of his blockbuster
00:56:51.810 --> 00:57:01.590 Joyce Gold: NEW BOOK IN COLD BLOOD. And in fact, he paid for this event to which 500 people appeared with the proceeds of that book.
00:57:02.280 --> 00:57:10.950 Joyce Gold: It was famous everything had to be you had to come in a mass unit to come in a costume and black and white with the only colors these things could be and
00:57:11.490 --> 00:57:18.840 Joyce Gold: And 500 people came apparently they say that people who were not invited left out because it was too shameful not to
00:57:19.320 --> 00:57:37.530 Joyce Gold: Live it to this, but I'm Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow were there and dress. They were dressed as caps. Currently, and Norman Mailer and literary figures were there. Andy Warhol was there. It was very famous for being a very eclectic mix of New Yorkers.
00:57:38.730 --> 00:57:44.250 Jeff Goodman: And the plaza has been part of the eclectic history of New York and part of the amazing history of New York.
00:57:44.850 --> 00:57:54.960 Jeff Goodman: Joyce gold. Thank you so much for being our guest on this program about New York's iconic hotels Joyce's been regaling us with the history and stories of the Plaza Hotel.
00:57:55.770 --> 00:58:04.230 Jeff Goodman: You can find that that bad choices tourists and read a better programming a choice goals hitch Joyce gold history tours com choice. Thanks for being on the program again.
00:58:05.640 --> 00:58:13.260 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions about the show, or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me, Jeff at rediscovering New York dot NYC. You can like us on Facebook.
00:58:13.650 --> 00:58:22.590 Jeff Goodman: And you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors Mark Hyman and freedom mortgage and the Law Offices of Thomas the ACA.
00:58:23.220 --> 00:58:29.940 Jeff Goodman: One more thing before we sign off, I am Jeff Goodman, a real estate agent hosted in New York City and whether you're selling, buying leasing or renting
00:58:30.390 --> 00:58:40.230 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City, real estate to help you with your real estate needs. You can reach us at 646-306-4761
00:58:41.100 --> 00:58:52.560 Jeff Goodman: Our producer is Ralph story or our engineer is Sam Leibowitz our special consultant for the program. And our first guest tonight is David Griffin of landmark branding. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.