New York, NY – (January 23, 2008) - Following a three-year closure and $4.5 million restoration, Great Performances, New York’s prestigious event and catering company, and Delaware North Companies, one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers, have announced that the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom has officially reopened after holding its first event last week, a dinner and celebration of diamonds hosted by Chanel Fine Jewelry. The iconic space has been meticulously restored to its 1929 opulence while incorporating modern advances including a new state-of-the-art kitchen, enhanced lighting and sound equipment, additional pre-function space, 15,000 square feet of newly constructed meeting spaces, and a luxurious new bridal suite.
Throughout the past three years The Plaza has undergone a $400 million lobby-to-roof renovation that will ultimately convert the century-old building into private residences, luxury hotel rooms, destination restaurants, state-of-the-art meeting and event spaces and exclusive retail shops. Great Performances and Delaware North Companies signed a 25-year lease with Elad properties, owners of The Plaza, to operate and manage the Grand Ballroom and Grand Ballroom Foyer, the Terrace Room, and new meeting spaces.
Once the legendary venues were acquired, Great Performances and Delaware North Companies embarked upon a mission to develop a new standard in catering and service that would pay proper homage to the world-famous property. Much of the ballroom’s culinary offerings will come from Great Performances’ organic farm in upstate New York, Katchkie Farm, ensuring that produce from amaranth to watercress will make it to the ballroom’s tables within 36 hours of being picked. Both companies are committed to creating menus that reflect the ballroom’s status as well as their dedication to sustainable food practices.
More than 40 high-profile events have been confirmed for 2008 with a continuous stream of inquiries and hundreds more tentatively scheduled. In addition to weddings, philanthropic galas, and corporate functions, the ballroom has also been reserved for events such as fashion shows, film premieres, and political fundraisers. Some of the most
notable upcoming events include a dinner in honor of the President’s State of the Union Address on January 28 hosted by The Atlantic, the first fashion show in the restored ballroom by J. Mendel to debut the Fall 2008 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February, and Trudie Styler
Throughout its 100-year history, The Plaza’s ballroom has been the setting for hundreds of lavish events, weddings, and parties, including Truman Capote’s 1966 “Black and White Ball” in honor of Washington Post publisher, Kay Graham. The guest list read like a Who’s Who of society’s elite, drawing hundreds of celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Candice Bergen, Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli, Lee Radziwill, Lauren Bacall, and Andy Warhol among others. Other illustrious events include the weddings of Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford in 1954, and Julie Nixon and David Dwight Eisenhower II in 1968, Mick Jagger’s 50th birthday party in 1993 and more recently the celebrity-studded wedding of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas in 2000. In a nod to the ballroom’s rich history, Great Performances added signature items to their catering menu inspired by dishes served at Truman Capote’s “Black & White Ball,” including Chicken Hash and Spaghetti Bolognese.
The neoclassical ballroom, a New York City landmark, has retained the décor and decorative elements of the original design including two elaborate chandeliers (each of which has been individually conserved), a stage, balconies on the north and east sides with curved ornamental railings, arched openings and attached Ionic columns. The elaborate coved ceiling features the venues original coved rondels, lunettes and delicate bas relief decoration. Using forensic analysis, the walls have been painted, glazed and gilded in The Plaza’s original color palate of white and gold. The Grand Ballroom has seating for 500 to 700 guests and is outfitted with the latest in lighting and sound. The Grand Ballroom Foyer, another landmark space, is also open after a complete restoration. Additionally, the Terrace Room, a more recent acquisition by Great Performances and Delaware North Companies, is expected to reopen in February 2008 upon completion of its restoration.
Bookings are currently being accepted for The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom and for the Terrace Room and meeting spaces beginning February 2008. For more information, please visit www.eventsattheplaza.com or for booking inquiries call 212-546-5380.