Putting it together….The Plaza Hotel (part 1)

In 2007, Ron Ben-Israel Cakes was commissioned to do their largest cake yet.  A 12-foot tall replica of the famous Plaza Hotel for the hotel’s 100th anniversary party.  Ron knew that this was going to be one of his biggest challenges.  The due date for the cake was October 1, right in the height of the fall wedding season.  The other challenge was we had about six weeks from start to finish.  We had to figure out a way to work the schedule so that we could fit this project in amongst the already scheduled wedding cakes. (We figured it out by the way – it was a tough month, but we did it…)

Because this was such a large project, I will only be able to give you some of the highlights of our process…

The famous Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The whole project started out with the architect’s plans.  We hung them up in the front office (the only place where we had the wall space) and the production meetings started happening.

The plans hanging on the wall in our front office of the bakery.

The project itself had to be broken down into many different parts.  The design team went on a field trip to research the details they would need to replicate out of sugar.

59th Street side of the model that was on display in the Plaza Hotel.

One of the first things that were done was the molds. The staff created the molds out of clay and then Ron took the prototypes and molded them with silicon.  I would have to say that Ron molded over 100 prototypes for us to be able to complete this project.

Creating the window prototype for Ron to mold in silicon. Ron poured several of these molds.
Some of the molds Ron made to create the facade of the Plaza.

Once the molds were completed and the center structure was put together, the molding and application of details had begun.  That part of the process was broken out into teams of people.  At any given time the teams would be working on the façade, roof top and all of the small details you see on the outside of the hotel: planters, lights etc…

The double "P" cartouche that is detailed throughout the hotel. Here is our version on some of the planters you find outside of the building. (In the upper right hand corner is a photo that we took on our research trip.)
You also find the cartouche on other various parts of the building. Here you can see it on the plans as well as on our model.
The globed lights that you find on the outside of the building to the left and our sugar version on the right.
Creating part of the roof top.
Roof top details in place.
The whole building was put together in the front room. It was designed to be broken out into 16 pieces to get it out the elevator and the front door of our bakery.

The sugar hotel was constructed in the front office in 16 different sections.  The reason for this was we had to be able to move it from our bakery on the 5th floor to the front of the Plaza Hotel under a 20×20 foot tent so we could put the structure back together and then add all of our finishing touches.

Getting one of the sections out the door and on to the truck to be brought up to the hotel.

This is part 1 of this blog series, a behind the scenes look at how this big cake was put together.  Till tomorrow…

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4 thoughts on “Putting it together….The Plaza Hotel (part 1)

  1. A truly amazing inside look! Such precision and detailing! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Surely nothing compares to it in the world!!

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