Title: Plaza Land Corporation records Creator: Plaza Land Corporation. Inclusive dates: 1955-1962 Extent: 2.5 linear feet Call number: 2012010 Bb 2 Language: The material is in English Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave. Ann Arbor, MI
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Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff
Access and Use
The records were received from Susan Grace Glass and James Willard Grace in June 2011. (Donor no. 10594). Additional materials have been received.
The record group is open to research.
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[item], folder, box, Plaza Land Corporation records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan
The Plaza Land Corporation was established in 1955 among a group of Detroit civic and business leaders for the purpose of acquiring property adjacent to the soon-to-be constructed "Convention Hall and Exhibits Building" (ultimately named for Detroit mayor at the time Albert E. Cobo) and acquiring the financing necessary for a new hotel to be built there. Originally the hotel was estimated to cost $24 million dollars. In 1956, the Plaza Land Corporation first turned to Conrad Hilton and the Hilton organization to own and operate the proposed hotel, which was originally to be named the Pontchartrain Hilton. In 1960, however, after four years of negotiation, the Hilton board of directors refused to ratify the deal. The Plaza Land Corporation sought out other investors and in 1962 successfully negotiated with the Downtown Investment Company, headed by Samuel and Aaron Gershenson, to take over construction and ownership of the proposed hotel. On July 24, 1965, the 264th anniversary of the founding of Detroit, the Hotel Pontchartrain was dedicated. The hotel was built on the site where Cadillac established the first fort in Detroit.
Collection Scope and Content Note
These records of the Plaza Land Corporation were accumulated and maintained by Edward R. Grace, secretary and member of the corporation's board of directors. The records, including minutes, memoranda, and correspondence, trace the development of what would become the Hotel Pontchartrain in Detroit. Within the records are files for the Corporation's various officers and directors, investors, and those otherwise closely associated with the project, including Detroit Mayor Albert E. Cobo, Conrad Hilton, Fred. C. Matthaei, H. Lynn Pierson, Douglas Roby, and Oscar Webber among others.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.
Hotels -- Michigan -- Detroit.
Detroit (Mich.) -- Commerce.
Hotel Pontchartrain (Detroit, Mich.)
Plaza Land Corporation.
Cobo, Albert E. (Albert Eugene), 1893-1957.
Grace, Edward R.
Hilton, Conrad N. (Conrad Nicholson), 1887-1979.
Matthaei, Frederick C. (Frederick Carl), 1892-1973.
Pierson, H. Lynn.
Roby, Douglas F. (Douglas Fergusson), 1898-1992.
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Container / Location
Topical Files 1955-1962 [series]
Arden, Armstrong Inquiry
Articles of Incorporation
Bassett, Arthur F.
Blyth & Co., Inc.
Buhl, Charitable Trust, Finance Plan
Cobo, Albert E.
Comparison of Hotel, Operating Percentages, Horwath & Horwath, Harris Kerr