The Pierre Hotel Robbery

A dubious accolade, but here it is: the largest, most successful hotel robbery in history took place in New York City in the venerable Pierre Hotel and was listed as such in the Guinness Book of World Records. The robbers have been burglarizing one New York City hotel after another without ever being caught, but the…

Formal Dinner… on Horseback

How would you celebrate the opening of your stables? A dinner, perhaps? Here is how Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings, an American industrialist tycoon, philanthropist, and a noted horseman and horse breeder did it. On March 28, 1903, he gave a lavish 14-course dinner for a small select group of people, namely thirty-five members of the…

The Dakota and Singer sewing machine

The Dakota – the first luxury apartment building in New York City – was not just a building; it was a rule-breaking revolutionary concept. In the 1880s, the Gilded Age wealthy resided in palatial private residences, while apartment living was associated with poverty. The Dakota changed these rules forever. They called The Dakota Clark’s folly….

What’s the style of The Pierre?

The Pierre was built in 1930 by the architectural firm of Schulze and Weaver, well known for their hotel design. Tall and slender, with characteristic setbacks, its silhouette looks very much like the Art Deco. However, on closer examination, this is where its similarity with Art Deco ends. Its base with columns, window arches, and…