New York, NY – The Plaza’s legendary Grand Ballroom is set to reopen this fall after work restoring it to its early 20th Century opulence is completed. 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, plan to reopen the landmark Grand Ballroom in October 2007, The Plaza’s 100th anniversary.
The Plaza is currently undergoing a $400 million lobby-to-roof renovation that will 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, redefining elegant living and luxury amenities. Operating as Plaza Events, Great Performances and Delaware North have signed a 25-year lease with Elad properties, owners of The Plaza. The ballroom will be restored to its 1929 grandeur, the year in which the renowned architectural firm of Schultze & Weaver designed and constructed a new ballroom to replace the original, smaller ballroom of 1907.
“The history of the ballroom reflects the social history of the city during much of the last century,” said Miki Naftali, President and CEO of Elad Properties. “We are delighted that those defining occasions of a lifetime will be celebrated once again in the restored landmark ballroom – and that the grand space will be operated by a gifted, creative company with a passion for food and the highest level of service,” he said.
The luxurious setting of The Plaza’s event spaces will now be matched by superior cuisine and impeccable service. “Great Performances has an outstanding reputation as New York’s world-class caterer,” said Rick Abramson, president of Delaware North’s hospitality and catering division. “With Great Performances’ innovative and eclectic cuisine and our world-class hotel culinary experience, the event guests at The Plaza will be in for an unbelievable experience.”
“We are excited to be bringing a new era of catering to The Plaza with innovative and exquisite menus that will complement the building’s prestige and celebrate its iconic status with our partner, Delaware North,” said Liz Neumark, founder and CEO of Great Performances.
Throughout its 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” to honor Washington Post publisher, Kay Graham. Capote said he chose The Plaza “because it has the only beautiful ballroom left in New York.” The guest list read like a Who’s Who of society’s elite, drawing hundreds of celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Candace Bergen, Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli, Lee Radziwill, Lauren Bacall, and Andy Warhol among others. Other illustrious events include the wedding of Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford in 1954, the wedding of 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.
The legendary ballroom, which has received New York City landmark status, will retain the neo-Classical décor of the original design which included two elaborate chandeliers, a stage, balconies on the north and east sides with curved ornamental railings, arched openings and attached Ionic columns. The elaborate coved ceiling featured inset coved rondels, lunettes and delicate bas relief decoration. The walls will be painted, glazed and gilded in The Plaza’s original color palate of white and gold. Six landmark murals will also be cleaned and conserved and the original chandeliers will once again adorn the space. While retaining its landmark characteristics, the ballroom will feature enhanced lighting and state-of-the-art sound equipment. The Grand Ballroom Foyer, which also received landmark status, will be restored as well. Additionally, construction has begun on the catering operations, which will include a new kitchen as well as pre-function space. Several new elevator banks and a new bridal suite are also being added.
As part of the project, The Plaza will feature an unprecedented 15,000 square feet of meeting space on the third floor. There will be seven meeting rooms available, each equipped with wireless services and state-of-the-art conferencing equipment. The smallest meeting room can be reserved for as few as 10 people. The largest meeting room, which will be given a modern design, will be able to accommodate up to 150 people and will be made available for smaller event bookings. All seven meeting rooms can be opened to create one large space to accommodate up to 450 people.
Plaza Events is currently accepting bookings for The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom beginning November 2007 and for the meeting rooms beginning December 2007. For more information about Plaza Events, please visit www.theplaza.com or for reservations call 212-546-5380.