New York's iconic Plaza Hotel overlooking Central Park threw itself 100th birthday party last night, complete with fireworks and a one-ton, scale-replica cake. The celebration comes as a $400-million renovation to the dowager hotel, home to the fictional Eloise and star of dozens of movies, is nearing completion.
Sold to an Israeli mogul for $675 million in 2004, the hotel is being converted into a combination of luxury condos, guest rooms and retail space. After a public brouhaha, the city negotiated an agreement with the new owners guaranteeing that historic sections of the hotel, including the Palm Court and Oak Bar, be preserved. Prices for condos range from $2.4 million to more than $40 million, reports the AP.