NETHERLAND PLAZA HOTEL
Constructed by the Starrett Investing
Company as part of the Carew Tower complex in 1930-1931, the Netherland Plaza
portion opened on 1/28/31. When built this complex was the largest of its type
in the United States. The Netherland Plaza is located at 5th and Race and begun
with 800 rooms. Starrett opened the hotel as the St. Nicholas Plaza named after
the old hotel that had stood on the corner of 4th and Race, but was sued by the
Hotel Sinton claiming they had ownership of that name. The hotel actually opened
without a name for the first month. Finally since Starrett had already bought
and paid for all the silverware, china, linen, stationary, and other furnishings
with the St. N. P. monogram on them, it was decided to call the establishment
Starrett's Netherland Plaza. The first card below was in use for the first
few months until the second card could be designed and printed. At this time the hotel contained seven
restaurants and twenty-six private dining rooms. There was a wedding
chapel next to one of the ballrooms.
Some of the notables that stayed here were: Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands (appropriate), Eleanor Roosevelt (she refused to leave until the hotel allowed her to pay her bill), Bing Crosby (his fans almost started a riot). Winston Churchill requested the plans for the yellow-tiled bathroom in his suite, he wanted to reproduce it in one of his homes.
St. Nicholas Plaza Netherland Plaza
Carew Tower Netherland Plaza
The Publishers made this card into a dual purpose item.
Not a postcard
Two Versions Of Caprice Pavillon Doris Day
The last image above was taken in 1938. Doris Day is seen with Jerry Doherty and the Duke Schumann Band at the Caprice Pavillon.
Hall of Mirrors
Not a postcard
The above item is a room service menu for the Netherland Plaza. The front cover advertises the Restaurant Continentale, the inside is the room service menu, and the back side tells about some of the services offered by the hotel. It is dated Friday, June 20, 1941. In the 1940s the Restaurant Continentale even had an ice rink. Some of the other dining areas of the hotel, over the years, have been The Frontier Room, Arcadia Tea Room, the Coffee Shop, the Rotisserie Grill, the Luncheonette.
INTRODUCTION TO THE NETHERLAND PLAZA BROCHURE
In the 1930's the hotel put out a 10" x 13", 36 page, pamphlet filled with photographs of the new hotel complex. The images below are just some of the photographs in this brochure.
Entrance stairway Registration area Lobby 1951 photo
Stairs to 4th floor Mezzanine
The next image is a floor plan for the fourth floor. This floor contained two exhibition halls, the Hall of Mirrors (the third floor held the foyer for the Hall and this was reached using the stairs above.) The Hall of Mirrors could be combined with the two Exhibition Halls plus the Mezzanine could be combined when dining facilities for upwards of 2,000 guests was required. There were also 9 passenger elevators available. There were 3 freight elevators connected to the South Exhibition Hall. Also on this floor was the Pavillon Caprice, the Plaza's famous supper club able to seat 1,000 people. The Pavillon Bar was said to be the finest in the Midwest. There were also many private dining rooms, some of which could be adjusted according to need (Gothic & Louis XVI rooms.)
Arcade Arcade Barbershop 50s shot of Xmas. carolers
Hall of Mirrors Pavillon Caprice Pavillon Bar
Entrance Restaurant Continentale Frontier Room Cocktail Terrace
Main Kitchen 1 of the Auxiliary kitchens Pantry Room
Laundry Dry Cleaning Linen Room
Coffee Shop Exhibition Halls
Telephone Exchange Corridor to Meeting Rooms Meeting Room Room where all radios
were connected to.
Metalwork Mezzanine Beauty Freight Elevator
Hall to Rooms Twin Bedroom Suite Studio Suite
PRICES: Single rooms-$3.00 to $10.00; Double rooms-$5.50 to $12.00; Twin-$6.00 to $10.00; Suites-$11.00 per day and up; Presidential Suite consisting of 2 bed rooms, living room, dining room and kitchenette-no price given; Studio Suite consisting of parlor and 4 bed rooms-no price given.
Coffee Shop Menu
Entrance to lobby Murals Ceiling mural of Apollo Palm Court
The hotel is now known as the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. The lobby seen in the brochure above has been converted into the hotel's main fine dining room, The Orchids at Palm Court. The Restaurant Continentale, one floor above The Palm Court, is now called the Continental Ballroom. The 3 images above are obviously newer photographs of three of the great views of this building.
The Netherland Plaza
The Terrace Plaza
THE TERRACE PLAZA
can see from the above card both hotels were managed by the same corporation. At
the time that card was produced John G. Horsman was the general manager for both
Constructed in 1948 the 10 floors of this hotel at 15 West Sixth Street sat on top of 7 floors of office and retail space and on the 8th floor a combination meeting and dining area, part of which was outside. It had a roof garden and restaurant on the 18th floor. It was considered the world's most modern hotel. Pneumatic tubes took dinner checks from the dining room to the credit clerk and back again. Rooms were painted to correspond to their geographic location. Sofas were transformed into beds at a push of a button. The eighth floor terrace would change from an outdoor dining area and garden in the summer to an ice skating rink in the winter. The fully-automated elevators were among the first in the nation.
Alexander Calder created one of his famous abstract mobiles, "20 Leaves and a Apple" for the Lobby. Spanish artist Joan Miro painted a 30' mural for the circular rooftop Gourmet Restaurant. Romanian Saul Steinberg was asked to capture scenes of Cincinnati in a 80' "Mural of Cincinnati" for the tiered Skyline Restaurant. These art works were removed when the hotel was sold to the Hilton Hotel Corp. and donated to the Cincinnati Art Museum. The Miro Mural was shipped to the Intermuseum Conservation Association in Cleveland in April of 2008, it along with the Steinberg mural that was already in Cleveland, were sent to be restored thanks to $135,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' Save America's Treasures program. The Steinberg had already been conserved and was on display in the summer of 2007. It is now in storage. The Miro has also been restored and is now hanging, outside the Terrace Cafe, at the Cincinnati Art Museum where the final conservation work will be done. The Calder Mobile, also, now hangs outside the Terrace Cafe, which was opened in 2003.
The 600,000-square-foot building has been mostly vacant ever since the 256-room Terrace Hotel closed in October 2008. Today a few retailers occupy only the ground level of the 20-story building. Preservationists are submitting the building to the National Register of Historic places and are trying to find an alternate way to use the structure, such as apartments plus a smaller hotel, turning the old 20th floor Gourmet Room into a nightclub. Other possibilities include a movie theater in the windowless part of the structure, it could also be used as a parking lot or department store.
Not a postcard
not a postcard
Gourmet Restaurant The Miro Mural Calder's Mobile
Mural At Museum
Skyline Dining Room These are not postcards
The last two images above show Saul Steinberg working on, and posing in front of, his mural.
These images are from a small pamphlet about the Terrace Plaza Hotel, in the second image you can see the connection to the Netherland Plaza Hotel.
THE HILTON HOTELS
Both of the above hotels were sold to the Hilton hotel chain in 1956.
The center card above is a very unusual way to use a postcard. Someone has used this card to display the First Day of Issue of the 8 cent Pharmacy stamp issued on November 10, 1972. Why they would use a Netherland Hilton postcard for this stamp, I have no idea. (unless there was a pharmacy convention held there that year?).
Kasbah Cocktail Lounge Landmarks seen from Hilton Joe's Bar