The History of the Plaza

Much has been written about the Plaza in recent weeks: Several people who purchased condos in the newly-renovated landmark have since sued the Plaza's owner, El-Ad, over various imperfections and unmet promises. Then there's the ill-timed "luxury mall" which recently opened in the building's basement, which features a store that sells cell phones for $310,000. If you've been having trouble keeping track of all the goings-on at the fabled building, here's a brief list of the Plaza's most notable moments from its debut in 1907 up to the present day.

October 1, 1907
The Plaza first opens to the public. Designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, it costs $12.5 million to construct.

1943
Conrad Hilton buys the hotel for $7.4 million.

1955
Kay Thompson's Eloise is first published.

1964
The Beatles stay at the Plaza during their first trip to the US.

1966
Truman Capote hosts his Black and White Ball in the hotel's Grand Ballroom.

1969
The Plaza's exterior is designated a New York City landmark.

1988
Donald Trump buys the hotel for $390 million.

1995
Trump sells the Plaza to Singapore-based businessman Kewk Leng Peng and Saudi prince Walid bin Talal for $325 million.

2004
The Plaza is purchased by Israeli mogul Yitzhak Tshuva's El-Ad Properties for $675 million. Miki Naftali is charged by Tsuhuva with overseeing the property.

Early 2005
El-Ad closes the Plaza for renovations. Protests lead El-Ad to change its original plan to turn the entire building into condos, and reserve a portion of the property for hotel rooms.

Late 2005
Condos in the building first go on sale.

October 1, 2007
The 100th anniversary of the Plaza is celebrated with fireworks and a one-ton cake fashioned in the building's image.

January 2008
The first residents of the condo section of the building begin moving in.

March 1, 2008
After three years and $400 million worth of renovations, the Plaza officially reopens to the public.

July 2008
The Plaza's Rose Club opens.

September 2008
Russian financier Andrei Vavilov files the first major lawsuit against El-Ad demanding the return of his $10.7 million deposit.

October 2008
Boutiques begin opening as part of the Plaza Retail Collection.

Eloise Sheds a Tear [VF]
Pimping Out the Plaza Hotel
[Page Six Magazine]
For a Luxury Mall, an Ill-Timed Debut [NYT]