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The Plaza: The Secret Life of America's Most Famous Hotel

by Julie Satow
# UR0032 Hardcover, 368 pages; 2019
Currently Unavailable
The Plaza Hotel in its current iteration—the eighteen-story white marble behemoth on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street— opened in 1907, with Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt as its inaugural guest. From then until today, the Plaza has remained an iconic landmark, associated with wealth and glamour, scandal and intrigue, opportunity and disgrace. Julie Satow's immersive and entertaining history of the storied building presents a colorful cast of characters, from the impossibly rich owners and patrons to the overlooked and underpaid employees. With juicy anecdotes and insightful historical context, Satow explores how the Plaza weathered world wars and radical social movements, prohibition and gangsters, economic crashes and political sea changes. It's a dramatic and sweeping narrative of a tumultuous century, revealing the hotel as "a true New Yorker, one that has coolly observed from its corner of Central Park the evolution of its surroundings, from the Vanderbilt mansion to Bergdorf Goodman, from hansom cabs to traffic jams." (AG)
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