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Application for a Certificate of Appropriateness for alterations to the interior landmark The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue at Central Park South

WHEREAS, The Plaza Hotel (which was constructed in 1905-07 by Henry Hardenbergh in neo-Classical style with the Palm Court decorated by E. Spencer Hall & Co., the caryatids from Pottier & Stymus and the column capitals, metal mouldings and wreaths inset into the floor by Winslow Bros. Company) is a treasured individual landmark designated in 2005 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; and

WHEREAS, The main feature of the Palm Court is its classical pilastered perimeter walls, decorative plaster molding and crowns, and the stained glass skylight; and

WHEREAS, The proposed design intent of the renovation is to maintain view corridors through the space to historic decorative surfaces, yet to instill within its confines new interior design which reactivates the space to its former vibrancy and charm; and

WHEREAS, The main component of the design is a central freestanding oval shaped bar with a ~8’ high translucent cast glass sculptural light feature at its epicenter, standing approximately 14’ tall, with new concealed floor mounted electrical points and plumbing to serve the bar; and

WHEREAS, Detailed drawings were provided but a three-dimensional rendering that would have to depicted the sculptural feature in the space was not provided; and

WHEREAS, The bar finish materials are curved, lacquered wood panels and bar back with illuminated glass bottle display, leather wrapped polished chrome hand rail, chrome illuminated foot rail; and

WHEREAS, The existing concealed recessed lighting fixture will be upgraded to indirect cove lighting and concealed lay light illumination, in an effort to brighten and activate poor illumination and color rendition; and

WHEREAS, Other design components are furnishings, tables, chairs, custom banquettes, custom carpet, decorative palm trees and other decorative floral installations intended to enhance the lively classical orangerie ambiance; and

WHEREAS, Two new banquettes will screen service points, removing inappropriate mirrors screens; and

WHEREAS, The only visible lighting additions are 6 pendant hung chandeliers at the north and south coffered areas flanking the existing skylight canopy, which are not interpretive in style and must be reworked to be more in keeping with the neo-Classical Revival style of the room or adjacent crystal chandeliers; and

WHEREAS, CB5 strongly suggests the original marble flooring be repaired and/ or restored at a minimum where visible and not concealed by the new carpet; and

WHEREAS, The design of the lampshades attached to the artificial palm tree trunks distracts from the organic nature of the plants and should be removed; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the applications of The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel, subject to the heretofore referenced recommendations.

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