The Rotunda Room at The Pierre New York, recently restored by architect Daniel Romualdez, reminisces 1960’s New York with the spotlight on the trompe l’oeil mural by artist Edward Melcarth. By Aarti Gupta Surendranath
The Pierre, built by Charles Pierre Casalasco, has been in the limelight since it opened in 1930s. Back in the day, its front row seat on Fifth Avenue caught the fancy of A-list patrons including Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Walters, and Yves Saint-Laurent, who were often in residence or came for the extravagant balls and afternoon teas.
After its US$100 million makeover by Taj, the hotel reopened in 2010 and quickly became the address of a new generation of the rich and the famous. Then last year, one of its signature spaces gave them another reason to make a stop. The Rotunda Room turns the clock back, I realised as I walked past it on my way to the French-American restaurant Perrine. Resurrected last summer, the romantic Rotunda, formerly known as Oval Foyer, features the much talked about floor to-ceiling trompe l’oeil mural by Edward Melcarth.
Architect Daniel Romualdez has highlighted this Renaissance-style artwork with dramatic lights to reveal public figures (such as Jackie Kennedy who objected to being on the wall when the curtain was raised in 1967) and mythological characters. Come for the mural and stay for the supper. The classic cocktails and dishes from the 60s have been reinvented to give guests a glimpse of its heritage. Pair Maine lobster tartine with Champagne and try to spot all faces from the past.