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Vanity Fair's Plaza Exposé: Cheap Tactics, Cheaper Materials

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[Photo: Todd Eberle/Vanity Fair]

The private residences carved out of The Plaza promised unbridled luxury and sophistication, sold out fairly quickly, and have been plagued by complaints and lawsuits ever since. It's all slightly reminiscent of the situation a few years back at Richard Meier's Perry Street towers (though in a beloved landmark), and just like those West Village glass boxes, the whole affair now has its own seminal Vanity Fair piece chronicling the mess. In the January issue of the mag (dropping tomorrow but online now) writer Evgenia Peretz describes The Plaza as "a place where fiberglass moldings and other standard materials are passed off as 'true opulence,' a place where one resident got stuck overnight in a garbage room, with no one to hear her cries." Then the real fun begins:

According to an inside source with knowledge of the materials used in the hotel rooms, instead of Italian marble for the bathroom floors and walls, El-Ad used low-density marble from China (about 50 cents a square foot). The crown moldings in the rooms aren't actually wood or plaster; they're fiberglass and run from $2 to $7 a foot. (High-end crown molding can cost $70 a foot, and real plaster molding many multiples of that.) The so-called mahogany closet is in fact just a thin layer of mahogany veneer over industrial particleboard. "The developer was looking for ways to save," admits a designer with Gal Nauer Architects.Chinese marble, fiberglass, particle board: THE HORROR. The story also gets into the somewhat unscrupulous ways the developer tried to lure retailers into the Plaza's new mall. That sound you here? Daniel Libeskind slowly backing away from Elad's 1 Madison Avenue project. Happy reading!
· Eloise Sheds a Tear [Vanity Fair]
· The Plaza coverage [Curbed]

The Plaza

Central Park South, Manhattan, NY 10019 Visit Website