The Plaza the secret life of America's most famous hotel

by Satow, Julie,

Format: Book on MP3 Disc 2019
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Northland Public Library Audio Books 917.471 SA8 (DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER)
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Audio Books
Call Number  917.471 SA8 (DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER)
Journalist Julie Satow's thrilling, unforgettable history of how one illustrious hotel has defined our understanding of money and glamour, from the Gilded Age to the Go-Go Eighties to today's Billionaire Row.From the moment in 1907 when New York millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt strode through the Plaza Hotel's revolving doors to become its first guest, to the afternoon in 2007 when a mysterious Russian oligarch paid a record price for the hotel's largest penthouse, the eighteen-story white marble edifice at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street has radiated wealth and luxury.For some, the hotel evokes images of F. Scott Fitzgerald frolicking in the Pulitzer Fountain, or Eloise, the impish young guest who pours water down the mail chute. But the true stories captured in THE PLAZA also include dark, hidden secrets: the cold-blooded murder perpetrated by the construction workers in charge of building the hotel, how Donald J. Trump came to be the only owner to ever bankrupt the Plaza, and the tale of a disgraced Indian tycoon who, having never even slept at the Plaza, buys the hotel anyway, then proceeds to rule over it from his jail cell in Delhi.In this definitive history, award-winning New York Times journalist Julie Satow not only pulls back the curtain on Truman Capote's Black and White Ball and The Beatles' first stateside visit -- she also follows the money trail. THE PLAZA reveals how, during the Great Depression, it was a handful of rich, dowager widows who were the financial lifeline that saved the hotel, and how foreign money and the anonymous shell companies of today have transformed the iconic guest rooms into condominiums shielding ill-gotten gains -- hollowing out parts of the hotel as well as the city around it.THE PLAZA is the account of one vaunted New York City address that has become synonymous with wealth and scandal, opportunity and tragedy. With glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes, it is the story of how one hotel became a mirror reflecting New York's place at the center of the country's cultural narrative for over a century.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This thoroughly researched, extensively documented romp presents the history of one of New York City's most famous landmarks, the Plaza Hotel. Author Satow, real-estate journalist and regular contributor to the New York Times, spins an intriguing tale, smoothly integrating more than 100 years' worth of social, economic, and cultural facts and minutiae. She deftly navigates through topics such as architecture, menus, labor disputes, parties, balls, civil unrest, jewel heists, suicides, city politics, high-end financial maneuvering, and lots and lots of great celebrity gossip. Whether profiling the unimaginably rich guests of the early twentieth century, who moved in with their private zoos; or luminaries including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank Lloyd Wright, children's book character Eloise, and the Beatles; or tracing the hotel's provenance through owners ranging from Conrad Hilton to Donald Trump to Saudi princes and Russian oligarchs, the narrative never flags. Readers will happily soak up period details and take notes on how the stalwart staff dealt with class snobbery, prohibition and gangsters, wartime privations, the turbulent 1960s, wealthy dowagers, blushing debutantes, persistent groupies, omnipresent prostitutes, and brawling Indian billionaires. This is social history at its best: thoughtful, engaging, and lots of fun.--Kathleen McBroom Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this glamorous history, New York Times real estate reporter Satow introduces a century's worth of guests, residents, workers, and owners of New York City's Plaza Hotel to illuminate the development of American celebrity culture, the globalization of money, and such cultural artifacts as room service and taxicabs. Completed in 1907, the hotel immediately attracted a wealthy and frequently eccentric slate of guests: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clara Bell Walsh, the inventor of the cocktail party, were regulars, and Princess Vilma Lwoff Farlaghy brought with her a menagerie of guinea pigs, wolves, alligators, and lions. In the 1950s, performer Kay Thompson would entertain her friends with a character she named Eloise, a little girl who lived at the Plaza, who eventually became the subject of the famous children's book. Meanwhile, the hotel's ownership passed through many hands, including those of Conrad Hilton, Roger Sonnabend (whose redecorations were so harshly criticized the hotel was eventually restored), Donald Trump, Westin Hotels, and Israeli developer Miki Naftali, who turned much of it into condos in the mid-2000s and laid off hundreds of employees. The detailed accounts of the property's ownership and costs occasionally drag, but the tales of those who walk the plaza halls are both funny and insightful. Satow's entertaining parade of eccentric characters will appeal to readers curious about real estate and the rich, famous, and weird personalities of the 20th century. (June)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Plaza Hotel (New York, N.Y.) -- History.
Hotels -- New York (State) -- New York -- History.
Real estate development -- New York (State) -- New York -- Finance.
Publisher Solon, Ohio :Findaway World, LLC,2019
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Mays, Jefferson, narrator.
Blackstone Publishing.
Hachette Audio (Firm)
Playaway Digital Audio.
Findaway World, LLC.
Participants/Performers Read by Jefferson Mays.
Language English
Notes Title from container.
"Blackstone Publishing."
Previously released by Hachette Audio, ℗2019.
Release date supplied by publisher.
One set of earphones and one AAA battery required for listening.
System Details Issued on Playaway, a dedicated audio media player.
Description 1 audio media player (11 hr.) : digital ; 3 3/8 x 2 1/8 in.
ISBN 9781549153556
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