Construction on the first Plaza Hotel at this location began in 1883, on the site of the New York Skating Club. The builders ran out of money, and the New York Life Insurance Company foreclosed and hired the most celebrated architects of the era, McKim, Mead & White, to complete the hotel, which finally opened on October 1, 1890. It soon became apparent that the first hotel was far too small, and it was demolished in 1905. A new and larger Plaza Hotel, a French Renaissance château-style building designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, was constructed in twenty-seven months at a cost of $12.5 million, opening to the public on October 1, 1907. When the hotel opened, a room at the Plaza Hotel was only $2.50 per night, the equivalent of $65.66 in 2017. The same room cost over $1,000 per night in 2001. The hotel proved so popular that a huge 300-room annex was added to the hotel along 58th Street from 1920-1921.