Plaza Land Corporation records: 1955-1962
Summary Information
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 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Michigan Historical Collections staff

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The records were received from Susan Grace Glass and James Willard Grace in June 2011. (Donor no. 10594). Additional materials have been received.

Access Restrictions:

The record group is open to research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright is not held by the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Plaza Land Corporation records, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


History

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.

Subject Terms

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.
  • Webber, Oscar.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Topical Files 1955-1962 [series]
Box   1  
Annual Reports
Box   1  
Arden, Armstrong Inquiry
Box   1  
Articles of Incorporation
Box   1  
Bassett, Arthur F.
Box   1  
Besimer, Fred
Box   1  
Blyth & Co., Inc.
Box   1  
Buhl, Charitable Trust, Finance Plan
Box   1  
Campbell, Harvey
Box   1  
Cobo, Albert E.
Box   1  
Comparison of Hotel, Operating Percentages, Horwath & Horwath, Harris Kerr
Box   1  
Convention and Exhibits Hall
Box   1  
Convention Information
Box   1  
Correspondence, General
Box   1  
Corrigan Proposal
Box   1  
Crow, Allan
Box   1  
Dallas Opening
Box   1  
Detroit Hotels, Capacity & Operations
Box   1  
Detroit Tourist Statistics
Box   1  
Directors Meeting Letters
 
Dodds, John A.
Box   1  
Correspondence
Box   1  
Proposal, Office Building
Box   1  
Ernst & Ernst
Box   1  
Finance Committee Meetings
Box   1  
Financial Statement, Plaza Land Corporation
Box   1  
Financing Report, Pontchartrain-Hilton Corporation
Box   1  
First of Michigan Corporation (2 folders)
Box   1  
Ford, Hilton (Foster Winter)
Box   1  
Ford Inquiry
Box   1  
Fruehauf, Roy
Box   1  
Garage
Box   1  
Glancy, A. R.
Box   1  
Grace, Pierson
Box   1  
Grace Proposals on Finance
Box   1  
Green, Mr. Leslie S.
Box   1  
Hall of Fame
Box   1  
Hall, Willis
Box   1  
Hilton Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   1  
Hilton Hotel Operations, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington, Detroit
Box   1  
Hilton Hotel Proposals (2 folders)
Box   1  
Hilton Hotel Reservation Data
Box   1  
Hockenbury Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   1  
Hockenbury Survey
Box   1  
Hotel Corporation of America
Box   1  
Hotels, Newspaper Clippings
Box   2  
Industry Committees
Box   2  
Invitational Letter, Original
Box   2  
Kanzler, Ernest
Box   2  
Kapp, William E.
Box   2  
Klein, George
Box   2  
Lau, Norman
Box   2  
Leases
Box   2  
McHugh, Glenn
Box   2  
M
Box   2  
Markin, Ambassador Plan
Box   2  
Matthaei, Fred C.
Box   2  
Minutes of Directors Meetings
Box   2  
Notes from Stockholders Meetings (2 folders)
Box   2  
Operation, Proposed Statement of
Box   2  
Other Hotel Operators
Box   2  
P
Box   2  
Personnel, Agency Services, Auto Account Administration
Box   2  
Pierson, H. Lynn
 
Plaza
Box   2  
Building
Box   2  
Finance
Box   2  
Finance Committee
Box   2  
Incorporators
Box   2  
Officers, Directors & Stockholders
Box   2  
Property Site
Box   2  
Site Data
Box   2  
Pontchartrain Plaza, Original Memos
Box   2  
Prudential Plan
Box   2  
Publicity (3 folders)
Box   2  
Releases, Copies of
Box   2  
Roby, Douglas F.
Box   2  
Schine Hotels
Box   2  
Sheraton vs. Statler Operations, Detroit
Box   2  
Special Meetings
Box   2  
Stockholder Correspondence
Box   2  
Stockholders & Directors
Box   2  
Subscribers List
Box   2  
Webber, Finance Plan
Box   2  
Webber, Grace, Correspondence, copies
Box   2  
Webber, James B., Jr.
Box   2  
Webber, Newspaper Clippings
Box   2  
Webber, Oscar
Box   2  
Williford, Robert P.
 
Supplementary material [series]
Box   3  
Photographs: aerial photos of Detroit along the riverfront, also photos of renderings of the proposed convention center
Box   3  
Report: Pontchartrain Hilton; A New Hotel for Detroit circa 1956
Box   3  
Magazine excerpt: Detroit as pictured in Fortune Magazine by The Detroit Bank 1954
Box   3  
Fortune Magazine issue (January 1961) with article about Detroit
Box   3  
Pamphlet published under the auspice of the Michigan Society of Architects of a study of architects on the basic principles of city planning as applied to Detroit
Box   3  
Hotel Survey Report for Detroit, Michigan, Part II -- Community Interest 1956
 
Clippings and scrapbook [series]
Box   3  
Scrapbook of clippings 1956-1959
Box   3  
Clippings