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

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Run Time: 90 min.


Check-in to The Plaza — right here in Westchester!  Join us for an exciting event with Author Julie Satow who will debut her highly-anticipated new book THE PLAZA. This thrilling book details a rich and unforgettable history of how one illustrious hotel has defined our understanding of money and glamour, from the Gilded Age to the Go-Go Eighties to today’s Billionaire Row.

Tickets include mimosas, brunch-y bites and a slideshow presentation of a visual history of The Plaza — complete with juicy and historical stories to accompany the images. Books will be for sale after the event and Julie will be available for signing.

11am event: 11-12 followed by brunch-y bites + coffee or mimosa

1pm event: Join us from 12-1pm for brunch-y bites + coffee or mimosa; event begins at 1pm

From the moment in 1907 when New York millionaire Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt strode through the Plaza Hotel’s revolving doors to become its first guest, to the afternoon in 2007 when a mysterious Russian oligarch paid a record price for the hotel’s largest penthouse, the eighteen-story white marble edifice at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street has radiated wealth and luxury.

For some, the hotel evokes images of F. Scott Fitzgerald frolicking in the Pulitzer Fountain, or Eloise, the impish young guest who pours water down the mail chute. But the true stories captured in THE PLAZA: The Secret Life of America’s Most Famous Hotel also include dark, hidden secrets: the cold-blooded murder perpetrated by the construction workers in charge of building the hotel, how Donald J. Trump came to be the only owner to ever bankrupt the Plaza, and the tale of Subrata Roy, the disgraced Indian tycoon who, having never even slept at the Plaza, buys the hotel anyway, then proceeds to rule over it from his jail cell in Delhi.

In this definitive history, award-winning journalist Julie Satow not only pulls back the curtain on Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball and The Beatles’ first stateside visit — she also follows the money trail. THE PLAZA reveals how, during the Great Depression, it was a handful of rich, dowager widows who were the financial lifeline that saved the hotel, and how foreign money and the anonymous shell companies of today have transformed the iconic guest rooms into condominiums shielding ill-gotten gains—hollowing out parts of the hotel as well as the city around it.

THE PLAZA is the account of one vaunted New York City address that has become synonymous with wealth and scandal, opportunity and tragedy. With glamour on the surface and strife behind the scenes, it is the story of how one hotel became a mirror reflecting New York’s place at the center of the country’s cultural narrative for over a century.



Julie Satow is an award-winning journalist who has covered real estate in New York City for more than a decade. A regular contributor to the New York Times, her work has also appeared on National Public Radio, the New York Post, The Daily Beast and elsewhere.


 “In this wide-ranging and compulsively readable book, Julie Satow tells the story of American high society and its many low moments through the narrative of the Plaza. Not since Eloise was written has anyone captured so charmingly the glamour and spectacle attendant on this hotel, but here we find also the seaminess of a place where the rich have manifested their most despicable tendencies and their most naked ambition time and again. The story of the Plaza as told in these pages is the story of New York’s last and greatest century.” —Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of Far & Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change

“In her thoroughly-researched book, Julie Satow delivers the delicious and engrossing tale of a century of history at the iconic Plaza Hotel, recalling its triumphs, unearthing its secrets, and bringing to life a revolving parade of famous owners and even more famous guests.”

—Meryl Gordon, New York Times bestselling author of Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend