I'm so glad that you decided to join me in exploring another key from our huge collection! Today, I think I'm going to talk about a key from one of my favorite cities, New York. I stumbled across this key, and it is actually pretty incredible. The key is from the original Plaza Hotel in NYC.
The Plaza Hotel that stands today was opened in 1907, but the original Plaza Hotel stood in the same spot for 15 years before that. We received a letter with the key for the Plaza from J. P. Herndon, Jr. in 1948. In the letter, he said that the key was the only souvenir he had from the original Plaza and he wanted to see it prominently displayed in the Baldpate's key collection.
Today, The Plaza Hotel is one of the most celebrated, elegant hotels in America and is frequented by business leaders, socialites, movie stars, and artists. It was once said, "Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza." When The Plaza opened, it was reported to be the greatest hotel in the world. Bernhard Beinecke, Fred Sterry, and Harry S. Black were the men who had the dream for the current Plaza Hotel. Construction of the 19-story building took two years at a cost of $12 million, which was a lot of money in those days. No cost was spared in the attempt to create a hotel with the opulence of a French chateau. The Plaza was so well known that Ernest Hemingway advised F. Scott Fitzgerald to give his liver to Princeton and his heart to The Plaza.
Fitzgerald used The Plaza in some of his novels, including The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were devoted patrons of The Plaza. The hotel is featured in Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of the novel, as well as other movies, including Plaza Suite, The Way We Were, Barefoot in the Park, Funny Girl, Cotton Club, and Home Alone II: Lost In New-York. The hotel's movie debut was in Alfred Hitchcock's 1959 classic, North by Northwest.
Check out this link for an interesting video about The Plaza and The Great Gatsby:
I hope you join me again soon for another advanture in the key room!
Have a great day!
Key Room Museum Curator