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The very tall and distinctive silhouettes of these skyscraper hotels were instant, albeit unofficial, landmarks that marked the epicenter of elegance in Manhattan and quickly became two of the most recognized building profiles in the world. The hotel originally had rooms and in 77 cooperative apartments were created and the hotel now has about rooms and about 49 suites. The Pierre is light colored and the Sherry Netherland is dark. The Pierre has a green mansard-style roof and the Sherry Netherland has an elaborate minaret.
The Pierre Hotel's Fifth Avenue entrance is somewhat disappointing as the main entrance is really on the sidestreet. The Fifth Avenue entrance le up a few stairs to the elevator bank and also has stairs leading down to a restaurant. A pleasant window-less, street-level cafe has its own Fifth Avenue canopied entrance. The main sidestreet entrance for the hotel opens onto a pleasant lobby with a raised alcove, but it is rather restrained and not spectacular, similar to the lobby treatment at the Hotel Carlyle on Madison Avenue at 76th Street.
A large circular cocktail lounge just off the main floor was decorated with murals in which Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is depicted. The building has full-time doorman and concierges and elevator operators and a couple of restaurants. Apartment is a one-bedroom unit with a foot-long living room and an 8-foot-long enclosed kitchen. Apartment is a one-bedroom unit with an foot-wide, five-sided foyer that le to a foot-long living room with a 9-foot-long enclosed kitchen. Apartment is a one-bedroom unit with a foot-long foyer that le to a foot-wide gallery that opens onto a foot-wide dining room that opens onto a foot-long living room.
There is also a foot-wide library and a foot-long kitchen. Apartment is a three-bedroom unit that has an foot-long foyer next to a 8-foot-long kitchen and a foot-long living room with a fireplace that opens onto a foot-long formal dining room.
Apartment has a foot-long entrance gallery that le to a foot-long living room with a fireplace that opens onto a foot-wide dining room next to a foot-wide kitchen. The apartment also has a foot-long library and three bedrooms. Apartment is a two-bedroom unit that has a small entry foyer that opens onto a foot-wide, octagonal gallery that opens onto a foot-long living room with two broadly curved corners, a foot-long formal dining room and a foot-long kitchen.
The 29 th floor unit has a circular entry foyer that le to a foot-long gallery that le to a foot-wide dining room, a foot-long living room, and a foot-long library. Because the Plaza was older and more established and had far larger and far more spectacular interiors than the rest of this group of hotels, the Pierre and the Sherry Netherland hotels have not shared as much limelight despite their far greater visibility.
As elegant as the area was before their arrival, the hotels, nevertheless, incredibly enhanced the prestige of this district with their towering presences and romantic silhouettes, giving hope, realized decades later when de styles had changed markedly, that the Plaza District might become Manhattan's third major skyline district after Lower Manhattan and Grand Central Terminal. Although the silhouette of the Sherry Netherland is infinitely more memorable and dramatic and interesting than the Pierre's, the Pierre's more conventional formality and light tones made for a more compatible transition with the white mansions of "Millionaire's Row" north of it on the avenue that were already being razed to make way for expensive apartment buildings.
Furthermore, in an age when contextual de had not yet reared its wagging head in architectural circles, the Pierre's light colors were more appropriate as a backdrop for its very impressive small neighbor on the same Fifth Avenue block, the stunning Metropolitan Club. Quality architecture in new construction in the city in the 's and 's was a rarity as evidenced sadly by the bland apartment buildings at Fifth Avenue, across 61st Street from the Pierre, and Fifth Avenue, across 60th Street from the Metropolitan Club.
The incongruous rear plaza was perhaps some misguided city planner's brainstorm to recall the walled in, unattended gardens of the former Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Georgian-style red-brick mansion that formerly occupied, rather dourly, this large important site. Dodge, a niece of John D. Over the years she acquired several adjacent brownstones and tore them down letting the foliage grow wild next to her austere 61st Street, room mansion filled mostly with animal paintings. Twelve years of Sherry's brought him to an impasse. Smart women were beginning to smoke in public rooms.
Sherry forbade it in his restaurant, an irritating, old-fashioned prohibition, Pierre thought, and, after flights of heated words he left. A stint then at the Ritz-Carlton on Madison Avenue at Forty-sixth, followed by his own restaurant, first on Forty-fifth immediately west of Fifth Avenue, and later at Park, a place equally famous for its cuisine and for its care of American heiresses who, it was seen to by M.
Pierre himself occasionally the escort went directly home to Mama. He soldiered on in this frantic new world that had lost its manners until a group of admirers and financiers, among them Otto H. Kahn, Finley J. Shepherd who had married Helen GouldEdward F. Hutton, Walter P. Chrysler, Robert Livingston Gerry the son of Elbridge Thomas Gerry, lawyer, philanthropist and grandson of Elbridge Gerry, the inventor of 'gerrymandering' and others decided to use the site of the Gerry mansion at Sixty-first Street and Fifth Avenue for a hotel to be managed and run by Charles Pierre.
Six years later, oilman J. The hotel's operations changed hands a few times until Trust Houses Forte Corporation took it over in and finally the Four Seasons luxury hotel chain in Having sold his townhouse for the new hotel, Elbridge T. Gerry bought a Georgian-style townhouse on the northeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 94th Street from Mrs. Leonard K. Elmhirst, who, according to Robert A. Elmhirst was Dorothy Payne Whitney Strait, one of the country's leading heiresses, suffragettes and a founder of the Junior League whose first husband, Willard Strait, had founded The New Republic magazine.
She and her late husband, Mr. Elmhirst founded and operated Dartington Hall, a very progressive school and cultural center in England. The Fifth Avenue building eventually became the International Museum of Photography for several years before being converted back to a single-family townhouse. Weeks later, however, reports were that the deal fell through and the penthouse was again on the market. The ballroom, which had served for a while as a supper club, had been rented for parties over the years but had long been not in use as the hotel had redone its main public spaces in its base where it had another ballroom as well as a circular double-height lounge with a painted mural that included a portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The penthouse ballroom, with views in all directions, large mirrors etched with palm trees, a small bandstand and some peeling pink paint when it was offered incan hold people at once, according to a Fire Department that then hung on a wall.
It is approximately 50 by 85 feet. The New York Observer article noted that the building's coop apartment owners "didn't want the rent-a-ballroom wedding parties tramping around in their elevators, so they made the Pierre close the ballroom, and it spent the next 15 years as a storage room for hotel furniture.
A hotel employee said that the views from its small corner terraces were so grand that they had been used as lookouts by the Police Department. The views, in fact, from its terraces are grand. Inthe building announced it would have to replace its three-story-high copper roof, but since the building is within the Upper East Side Historic District and therefore a landmark the new roof did not alter the hotel's appearance. The hotel originally had guest rooms, but many of them were combined into larger suites over the years.
In the late 's, the adjacent Metropolitan Club contemplated erecting an apartment tower in the unused air space over its large midblock driveway and courtyard and its east wing. The tower would have abutted the Pierre's tower but been several stories lower as well as set back a bit from its western edge.
The very handsome plan, however, was not approved by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Pierre changed hands a couple more times until, inthe Indian company Taj Hotels entered the picture. Taj dates back to with the opening of the Taj Mahal Palace in Bombay. An article at mydigitalfc. Ina robbery that was considered the largest and most successful hotel robbery in history occurred at the hotel.
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