The Plaza Hotel

New York, New York


Consulting Architect

James Gainfort Consulting Architects
New York, New York

Sheet Metal Contractor

Nicholson & Galloway
Glen Head, New York

Sheet Metal Contractor

Eagle One Roofing
Astoria, New York

Other Role

Heather & Little
Markham, Ontario

One of the most grand and renowned of New York City's historical landmarks, the Plaza Hotel recently celebrated its 100th birthday. Designed in the French Renaissance style, this massive 18-story white brick and marble structure is a stunning example of American hotel architecture.

Renovation of the hotel's roof, which features more than 130 dormers, continuous roll ridges, finials, ornamental bandwork, wall cladding and both flat and standing seam systems was commissioned by the owner, Elad Properties. The project was so large in scope that it required the collaborative efforts of two roofing contractors: Nicholson & Galloway and Eagle One Roofing. Nicholson & Galloway, a prominent firm specializing in sheet metal restoration work, completed the installation of the two building wings. Eagle One Roofing, a top Manhattan firm, completed the 5th Avenue façade along with the turrets at the northeast and southeast corners.

"The major challenge was to come up with a solution that respected the historic proportions of the building while conforming to current wind and fire codes, explains architect Charles Wahl of James Gainfort Consulting Architects, the roofing and waterproofing consultant on the project. To address that issue, six full-size mock-ups were constructed to ensure the design would be both waterproof and structurally sound before the contractors could begin production. While Nicholson & Galloway and Eagle One fabricated many components in their shops, Heather and Little, a Canadian firm specializing in architectural sheet metal fabrication provided many of the dormers for the project. Also involved in the production of prefabricated copper components was Michigan Ornamental Metals, of Ridgefield, NJ.

Adding to the opulent design of the building is an impressive amount of custom-order Ludowici tile, which provides a perfect complement to the building's copper features. In addition to housing a hotel, the building contains condominiums for extended-stay owners. To visitor's delight, the ground floor and sub-grade levels offer retail shopping.

Costas Kondylis, the Architect-of-Record, is based in New York City. David Abramson was the Restoration Architect, responsible for the configuration and dimensional design of the replicated ornamental copper work. and Tishman was the General Contractor for the Plaza Hotel Restoration.

Architectural Category: Exotic or Unusual Applications