HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PIERRE_ A TAJ HOTEL A Landmark of New

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					                      HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PIERRE, A TAJ HOTEL
                               A Landmark of New York Style Since 1930


•   1929 - On February 2, the headline of The New York Times first announced "Pierre Hotel to rise
    on Gerry Home site, $15-million building of 41 stories to replace mansion at Fifth Avenue and
    61st Street. Building to have club atmosphere."       The new hotel was a joint venture between
    Charles Pierre Casalasco of Corsica and a group of Wall Street investors, most notably Otto
    Kahn, E.F. Hutton and Walter P. Chrysler.         Architects Schultze and Weaver had found
    inspiration in the design of a French château, and created a Georgian brick-and-granite
    structure to replace the mansion of Commodore Elbridge T. Gerry, who was a noted
    philanthropist, lawyer, and grandson of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
    Times readers noted that The Pierre was to be an exclusive hotel, "characterized by its
    simplicity and refinement." Charles Pierre Casalasco had devoted five years to its planning and
    promised that his new hotel would be unique.

•   1930 - On October 1, the hotel opened for business with 700 rooms and "an aim to create the
    atmosphere of a private club or residence instead of the average hotel atmosphere." Two
    weeks later, a gala dinner given by president and managing director, Charles Pierre Casalasco,
    marked the official grand opening. Everyone prominent in the business and society life of the
    city attended the event. On hand was 85-year-old Auguste Escoffier, "the father of French
    chefs," who, in the early years of The Pierre, served as guest chef. The Pierre fast became the
    toast of New York. A guidebook of the time declared, "It is a monument of beauty and one of
    the most majestic structures in all New York."

•   1932 - Even lavish praise could not withstand the Great Depression of 1929, which caused
    Charles Pierre Casalasco to file for bankruptcy three years later. Shortly before his death in
    1934, Casalasco lamented the passing of an age: "It will take years to discover whether society
    will find itself again.   Society no longer exists.   Today it's ‘How much money have you?’
    Yesterday it was ‘Who are you?’"

•   1933 - As a result of a foreclosure, The Pierre was sold at a public auction on January 12 to the
    hotel's bondholder's committee who enacted a reorganization plan and kept on Charles Pierre
    Casalasco as managing director.        One successful venture was the introduction of supper
    dances that attracted top-notch big bands and a steady stream of guests. Another initiative was
    the bridge match of the century, the Culbertson's Blue Book that became a great society
    novelty.
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PIERRE, A TAJ HOTEL

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•   1938 - Oil tycoon John Paul Getty buys the hotel for $2.5 million, less than one-fifth of its
    nominal value. Frank Paget is later appointed general manager.

•   1940 - The Café Pierre opened in the summer in the same location that Le Caprice now
    occupies. It became the new hot spot among the social elite.

•   1950 - Frank Paget, general manager, was the first hotelier to install radio and television sets in
    all the guest rooms.

•   1959 - The Pierre became a cooperative, with the permanent residents assuming ownership.
    The remaining guest rooms, restaurants, bars and reception rooms continued to be patronized
    by a devoted international clientele.

•   1967 - Real estate developer and civic leader Robert Dowling forms a new company with
    financiers Serge Semenko and David Baird to take over The Pierre from the Getty Oil Company.
    The new venture, called The Pierre Service Corporation, began a series of renovations
    including the refurbishment of guest rooms and public spaces, as well as the creation of murals
    in The Rotunda and Garden Foyer by artist Edward Melcarth.

•   1974 - Trust House Forte, an English company, assumes management from 1974-80.

•   1981 - Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts take over management and begin $15-million
    refurbishment.   The Pierre's rooms and bathrooms are renovated; the 61st Street lobby is
    expanded; and the Café Pierre is re-designed by Valerian Rybar.

•   1992 – Lobby redone in Italian marble with crown moldings and hand-woven carpets. The
    Garden Foyer is painted to look like Versailles. The Regency Room is re-designed with panel
    walls, trompe l'oeil panels and gilded crown moldings. New York-based Bradshaw & DePalma
    handled the design work.

•   1995 - The Pierre gets a new copper roof for its 65th anniversary on October 1.

•   1999 - The Pierre unveiled its reappointed Grand Ballroom designed by Hughes Design
    Associates of McLean, Virginia. The Grand Ballroom remains the city's premier setting for
    elegant gala events and weddings.
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PIERRE, A TAJ HOTEL

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•   2005 - Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces succeeds Four Seasons, assuming management of The
    Pierre with plans to restore the property to its richly deserved grande dame status.
•   2006 – Restoration work of the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, the Cotillion Room and banquet room
    foyer begins in August. For the renewal of the ceilings, artisans from Portugal who specialize in
    historic restoration hand-painted the relief ceilings in a five-color palette. Alexandra
    Champalimaud & Associates, the internationally-acclaimed interior design firm from New York,
    oversees the execution of the design in concert with Brennan Beer Gorman/Architects.
•   2008 - The Pierre stops taking guest reservations January 1, while banquet spaces remain
    open, and enters the second phase of renovation, which will transform all guest
    accommodations, including the 10 Grand Suites with apartment-like quarters and private
    terraces, as well as all corridors, public areas, restaurant and the bar. The residential-style
    designs for the guest rooms are by James Park Associates, whose past projects include the Taj
    Lake Palace Hotel, Udaipur, India; Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives, and the redesign of
    Singapore Airlines’ first-class cabins.
•   2009 – The Pierre re-opens June 1 following a meticulous $100 million renovation to create new
    guestroom and bath interiors and to reconfigure first floor public areas to accommodate a new
    restaurant, Le Caprice, as well as a new bar/lounge Two E, and a graciously welcoming
    reception area. Champalimaud, formerly known as Alexandra Champalimaud & Associates,
    created the designs for Two E and The Pierre’s additional public spaces other than Le Caprice.
    Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, who can list Scott’s, Wentworth Grill, J Sheekey Oyster Bar
    and The Club at The Ivy among his considerable achievements, was brought in to design Le
    Caprice, which opened in October.


    About The Pierre
    The Pierre, on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, is New York’s newest AAA 5-Diamond
    hotel. First opened in 1930, the iconic hotel with 189 guestrooms, including 49 suites, was
    acquired by Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces as the luxury chain's U.S. flagship in 2005. The
    Pierre, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, re-opened June 1, 2009, following a $100
    million renovations program to redesign all guestroom and bath interiors and add a new
    restaurant, Le Caprice, and a new destination lounge and bar, Two E. To reserve, please call 1-
    800-743-7734 or visit www.tajhotels.com/pierre/.
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PIERRE, A TAJ HOTEL

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   About Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces

   Established in 1903, Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest groups
   of hotels, comprising 67 hotels in 45 locations across India with an additional 16 international
   hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa, South Africa
   and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach
   resorts to authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian
   hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, has
   recently completed the centenary of its landmark hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower,
   Mumbai. Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business
   house. For more information on Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces: www.tajhotels.com.
                                                ###



   FOR MORE INFORMATION:
   Sheila Donnelly & Associates
   Babs Harrison
   212/851-8425
   babs@sheiladonnelly.com

				
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