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Thread: Pierre Hotel - 2 East 61st Street - by Schultz and Weaver

  1. #16
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Brooklyn, NY


    Hopefully this renovation will include lighting up its magnificent crown. And while they are at it throw some flood lights in to light up the Sherry-Netherland too. Two beautiful contextual towers towers near each other.

  2. #17


    One of my favourite mini skylines.

  3. #18


    The Sherry-Netherland is due for a cleaning.

  4. #19


    December 29, 2007
    The Pierre, It Turns Out, Isn’t Ageless
    The Gibson is not a particularly difficult cocktail to prepare, and yet it is.

    Joseph Dacchille, one of three staff bartenders at the Cafe Pierre — the bar at the Pierre Hotel and a cocktail napkin’s throw from Central Park — sees the snag immediately.

    Mr. Dacchille (pronounced duh-KILL-ee), 69, has been a bartender for 48 years, 31 of them at the Pierre. He said on Friday that “a lot of the young bartenders think it’s a gimlet and put Rose’s lime juice in it.” He snorts.

    A Gibson is a martini, he said, garnished with pearl onions and made with a “dash” of Boissiere or other dry vermouth, but is mostly robust amounts of Bombay Sapphire or other gin. Shaken or stirred? Stirred, Mr. Dacchille replied. “That shaking thing came on with James Bond.”

    Such big-city savoir-faire will be lost, at least temporarily, at high noon on Monday.

    Most of the Pierre will close down then for at least a year, and a large portion of its staff — including Mr. Dacchille, whose last day was Friday — will not return.

    The closing is part of a $100 million renovation of the Pierre, which the New Yorker magazine once described as a “millionaires’ Elysium.”

    The Pierre, at Fifth Avenue and 61st Street, has the look of a French chateau, if a French chateau were 41 stories tall. It was opened in 1930 by a former headwaiter named Charles Pierre Casalasco who had managed to get the backing of such financiers as E. F. Hutton and Walter P. Chrysler.

    For decades, the Pierre has been a favorite of people who had little in common except a taste for luxury, including Audrey Hepburn, William S. Paley and Mikhail Gorbachev.

    And then there was Frank Sinatra, who was unintimidated by the hotel’s hushed elegance. An aide would circulate among the hotel staff with a fistful of $100 bills for tips. What’s this for? a few would say. The aide would shrug and say, “Mr. Frank is here.”

    The renovation of the Pierre was made urgent by the “highly competitive arena” of New York hotels, said Heiko Kuenstle, 38, the Pierre’s general manager.

    The consequences will be significant, acknowledged Mr. Kuenstle (pronounced KWEN-stell). Of the 600 hotel employees, he said, only 300 are sure to remain. The “vast majority” of the other 300, including waiters, kitchen workers, bartenders and others, are unlikely to come back because of the protracted shutdown of the cafe, the bar, the rotunda and other areas, Mr. Kuenstle said.

    The employees, most of whom are unionized, were offered an “enhanced” severance package with no promise of rehiring and a standard package with a promise of rehiring. The acceptances of both packages are still being counted.

    “We will try to keep as many key employees as possible” with special incentives, Mr. Kuenstle said. But he knows the situation is worrisome. As he told a staff meeting several months ago, “It’s the employees who build the legend of the Pierre.”

    The 300 workers who stay on — including doormen, bellmen, concierges and others — will take care of the 75 co-op apartments scattered among the 200 hotel rooms set to be renovated. Large parts of the hotel have already been renovated, including the Grand Ballroom, and will remain open next year. Since 1959, the co-op owners’ board has owned the hotel, though it is managed by a corporation.

    Like other Pierre employees, Mr. Dacchille, the son and grandson of bartenders, was stunned by news of the closing. “I’m not ready to retire,” he remembers thinking.

    But, Mr. Dacchille acknowledged, “Maybe they’re doing me a favor, because if they didn’t close for renovations, I would have stayed on till I dropped.”

    Mario Garro, 47, who has worked at the Pierre for 27 years, most recently as a restaurant manager, plans to return in 2009, but does not know what he will do until then.

    Originally from Peru, Mr. Garro started as a dishwasher and feels attached to the Pierre for giving him so many opportunities. After he worked his way up to busboy, he dreamed of bigger jobs, even of maître d’hôtel.

    “I said, ‘Maybe one day I will do the door,’ and I did.”

    Raymond K. Mason, 80, former chairman of the Charter Company, and his wife, Minerva Mason, 82, have one of the co-ops at the Pierre. They first came to the Pierre on their honeymoon in 1948. In 1972 they decided to buy a co-op there, even though they live most of the year in Florida.

    They said the Cafe Pierre and room service were among the things they would miss the most. Their favorite thing to do from their park-view apartment, the Masons said, is to have breakfast in their bedroom and “watch all the traffic coming down Fifth Avenue.”

    Ellen Davis, 50, and her husband, Warren Davis, 55, a real estate investor, are also big admirers of the Pierre.

    In 1997, Bill Spinner, the Pierre’s director of catering, put together a bat mitzvah of bat mitzvahs for the Davises’ daughter, Ashley.

    The theme was “Ashley’s Adirondack Adventures at Sleepaway Camp,” which included lifelike dolls of Ashley ice-skating, canoeing and mountain climbing. When Ashley was married in September, it was at the Pierre.

    Every few years, on Valentine’s Day, the Davises would go to the Cafe Pierre and ask the pianist to play “My Funny Valentine” in honor of their own wedding anniversary. “It’s heaven,” Mrs. Davis said.

    As for the bar staff, the two other bartenders are also retiring, meaning a new generation of bartenders will take over at the cafe in 2009.

    During a telephone interview, Mr. Dacchille briefly took a long distance call from London from a regular Pierre customer who was calling to express his disappointment that he was departing.

    Returning to the interview, Mr. Dacchille said there would always be room for a good bartender with a supple wrist and a caring ear.

    “There are a lot of lonely people out there,” he said.

    Sarah Kramer, Alexis Mainland and Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

  5. #20


    Comings and Goings

    In New York, Pierre Is Set to Reopen

    Published: May 17, 2009

    One of Manhattan’s best known hotels, the Pierre, will reopen on June 1 after having closed for 18 months to complete a $100 million renovation of its 189 guest rooms and suites and all public spaces.

    Ditte Isager

    The hotel, which originally opened in 1930 at 61st Street and Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, will also be the first North American location for the celebrated London restaurant Le Caprice, set to open by the end of summer. There will also be a new lobby lounge and bar, called 2 East.

    Guest rooms have been repainted and decorated in tones of corals and blues, and now feature 40-inch flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi and Bose Wave Music Systems with iPod docking stations, as well as artwork selected by Mortimer Chatterjee, a former Christie’s executive . Bathrooms have been outfitted in Turkish marble and feature glass-walled showers; most have also been enlarged to incorporate new separate soaking tubs.

    Nightly rates begin at $895 (

    Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

  6. #21
    Kings County Loyal BrooklynLove's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Brooklyn, planet Earth


    Quote Originally Posted by brianac View Post
    One of Manhattan’s best known hotels, the Pierre, will reopen on June 1 after having closed for 18 months to complete a $100 million renovation of its 189 guest rooms and suites and all public spaces.

    Nightly rates begin at $895.
    Apparently the people running this place have been closed for 18 months as well.

  7. #22


    Guest rooms have been repainted...

    They thought of everything.

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Quote Originally Posted by brianac View Post

    ... will also be the first North American location for the celebrated London restaurant Le Caprice, set to open by the end of summer.
    A very happening place in London. Will be intersting to se if they can make similar excitement happen here.

  9. #24
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    The renovation is not going well. They've been hiring and firing interior designer firms within the last year - and all of them hate the Pierre as a client.

  10. #25


    I wish I can get my hands on the floorplan of the penthouse! That would be something to look at.

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