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Guide to the Four Seasons Restaurant Collection
1959-2019
 MS 3151

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on February 24, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Four Seasons (Restaurant)
Title: Four Seasons Restaurant collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1959-2019
Abstract: Scrapbooks, ephemera, photographs, renovation files, books, pamphlets, audiovisual materials, and a few objects documenting the history of the Four Seasons, the pioneering restaurant of "New American Cuisine," located at 99 East 52nd Street, Manhattan, from 1959 to 2016. Its spaces, designed by architect Philip Johnson, included the iconic Pool Room and Grill Room—birthplace of the "power lunch"—and gained official New York City interior landmark status in 1989. The Four Seasons moved in 2018 to 42 East 49th Street, where it closed permanently in 2019.
Quantity: 18.75 Linear feet in 13 boxes (12 record cartons, 1 flat box) and 5 oversize folders (4 small, 1 medium).
Call Phrase: MS 3151

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Historical Note

When it opened in 1959 at 99 East 52nd Street in Manhattan, off Park Avenue, its $4.5 million dollar cost (about $40 million today) made the Four Seasons the most expensive restaurant ever constructed in New York. Under the stewardship of James Beard, the restaurant pioneered what came to be called "New American Cuisine" and is credited with introducing seasonally-changing menus, and American wines, to the nation.

Occupying ground floor space originally intended for an auto showroom in the Seagram Building—the only New York work of International Style exponent Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—the Four Seasons was designed by Philip Johnson and a team of consultants for Restaurant Associates, which managed it with the Bronfman family (owners of the building and of the Seagram Company) through 1973. The restaurant's interiors included two main dining rooms: the Pool Room, where live trees, changed seasonally, marked the corners of a 20-foot-square white marble water feature, and the Grill Room, where rippling chain draperies at the windows complemented artist Richard Lippold's quivering brass rod sculpture suspended over the bar. In 1989 the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Four Seasons an interior landmark. (This designation excluded a key decorative feature which hung in the passage connecting the Pool and Grill rooms since the restaurant opened: Pablo Picasso's painted theater curtain for Diaghilev's 1919 ballet "Le Tricorne." Purchased by the Bronfmans for the space, it was given in 2005 to the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Sale of the Seagram Building prompted its removal and conservation in 2014. Custody of the curtain was transferred to the New-York Historical Society, where it remains on display.)

Tom Margittai and Paul Kovi assumed management of the restaurant beginning in 1973, passing control in 1994 to junior partners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder. Under their leadership the Four Seasons played host to countless celebrity regulars, financiers, publishers, politicians, and fashion editors. For decades architect Philip Johnson had his daily private table in the Grill Room, where the concept of the "power lunch"—a working meal over which the rich and powerful discuss important deals—is said to have originated.

Through a change in ownership of the Seagram Building, the Four Seasons lost its lease in 2016, and closed after dinner service on July 16 of that year. In 2018 the restaurant moved a few blocks south to 42 East 49th Street, to a $30 million dollar space designed by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld that echoed the décor of its original location. The Four Seasons closed permanently on June 11, 2019.

For further details see John Mariani and Alex von Bidder,  The Four Seasons: A History of America's Premier Restaurant (New York: Crown Publishers, 1994), New-York Historical Society library call number F128 TX945 .5 .F45M37 1994.

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Scope and Contents

Except for two employee handbooks and an in-house operations manual [see Series II], this collection does not include the business records of the Four Seasons. Rather, the material is largely ephemeral in nature. A significant portion is devoted to scrapbooks documenting the years 1959–2003, presumably assembled by the restaurant's public relations staff from newspaper clippings, magazine and trade publication tear sheets, award certificates, photographs, banquet and regular menus, and invitations, all relating to events and people—especially celebrity diners—at the Four Seasons [see Series I].

Assorted ephemera dating from 1962–2019 complements the scrapbooks, and includes printed items, such as wine lists; matchboxes and a shopping bag with the Four Seasons logo; and a menu for President John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday dinner at the restaurant [see Series II].

Photographs document the Four Seasons' spaces, décor, and staff between the 1970s and 2015, with a large portion given to the kitchen renovations undertaken in 1997. Others capture owners Tom Margittai, Paul Kovi, Julian Niccolini, and Alex von Bidder posed with celebrities and world figures who visited the restaurant, such as Anne, Princess Royal, James Beard, George H. W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Bill Clinton, David Frost, Keith Hernandez, Philip Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Sophia Loren, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lee Radziwill, Diane von Furstenberg, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the 14th Dalai Lama [see Series III].

The collection contains a series of files on construction and renovation projects at the original (99 East 52nd Street) and final (42 East 49th Street) locations of the Four Seasons between 1987 and 2018; workaday topics include "Asbestos," "Bathroom ADA," "Exhaust," "Ice Machines," and "Plumbing" [see Series IV].

The restaurant's famous food and stylish interiors were featured in numerous books, pamphlets, and periodicals over its six-decade history, and the collection includes a selection of these, such as the  Four Seasons Cookbook (1971),  Dunbar Fine Furniture of the 1950s (2000), and owner Alex von Bidder's picture book for children,  Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant (2009) [see Series V].

As with print media, the Four Seasons was profiled countless times by television news outlets, such as CNN, and was the setting for reality and scripted programs, like the short-lived 1990s soap "Central Park West" on CBS. The collection includes copies of many of these appearances, as well as wedding ceremonies and receptions held at the restaurant, on VHS cassettes, CDs, and DVDs, dated 1990–2012 [see Series VI].

Lastly, the collection contains a handful of objects associated with the Four Seasons, such as plaques displaying its 2014 Zagat restaurant review rating, and a hard hat with the restaurant's logo from construction of its final home at 42 East 49th Street [see Series VII].

Arrangement

The collection is organized in seven series:

Series I.
 Scrapbooks, 1959-2003, 2005-2019, undated
Series II.
 Ephemera, 1962-2019, undated
Series III.
 Photographs, slides, transparencies, circa 1970s-2015
Series IV.
 Renovations (original and new location), 1987-2018
Series V.
 Books, pamphlets, and periodicals, 1971-2016, undated
Series VI.
 Audiovisual, 1990-2012, undated
Series VII.
 Objects, 1995-2018, undated

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Beard, James, 1903-1985
  • Johnson, Philip, 1906-2005
  • Kovi, Paul
  • Margittai, Tom
  • Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig, 1886-1969
  • Niccolini, Julian
  • Von Bidder, Alex

Document Type

  • Award plaques.
  • Ephemera.
  • Hard hats.
  • Menus.
  • Newspaper clippings.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Shopping bags.
  • Tear sheets.

Subject Organizations

  • Four Seasons (Restaurant)
  • Seagram Building (New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Restaurants -- New York (State) -- New York

Family Name(s)

  • Bronfman family

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

The VHS cassettes in Series VI are restricted because of their fragility and because N-YHS has no equipment on which to play them. Similarly, the digital media (i.e., CDs and DVDs), also in Series VI, are currently restricted from access in order to ensure that the digital files are not accidentally corrupted. For further information please contact the curator of manuscripts at manuscripts@nyhistory.org.

Use Restrictions

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to 20 exposures of stable, unbound material per day. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to:

Department of Rights and Reproductions
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024-5194
rightsandrepro@nyhistory.org
(212) 873-3400 ext. 282

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: The Four Seasons Restaurant Collection, MS 3151, The New-York Historical Society.

Separated Materials

Some objects from this collection have been transferred to the custody of the New-York Historical Society's museum division, including two neckties, a spool of ribbon, a Four Seasons table lamp, a wooden model of the new Four Seasons restaurant, and seven framed medals awarded to the Four Seasons by the James Beard Foundation and DiRoNa (Distinguished Restaurants of North America).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection is the gift of Alex von Bidder, co-owner of the Four Seasons from 1994 through 2019. Most of the material arrived in 2019 (accession no. MS-2019-039), except for the files under Series IV, and some of the objects in Series VII, which were received in 2016.

Processing Information

Archivist Joseph Ditta arranged and described this collection in January-February 2020.

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Container List

Series I. Scrapbooks, 1959-2003, 2005-2019, undated

Scope and Contents

Contains newspaper clippings, magazine and trade publication tear sheets, award certificates, photographs, banquet and regular menus, invitations, and ephemera, all relating to events and people—especially celebrity diners—at the Four Seasons.

Arrangement

Materials have been removed from their oversized binders and placed into folders following the original chronological order. The scrapbooks proper cover 1959 through 2003; loose material, dating from 1993 through 2019, is filed after. Printed dining menus, where present, are highlighted in the container list.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Scrapbook

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1959 August 14: Just Because Luncheon / Andrew and Leonard Arkin
• 1962 May 19: President's Birthday Dinner [J.F.K.; photocopy]
• 1962 August 21: Gorton's of Gloucester, Inc. Introduces the Fresh-Lock Process
• 1963 June 10: Luncheon to Honor the Honorable Michel Legendre, Consul General of France
• 1963 October 3: general menu [in pencil on verso: "Emperor Haile Selassie"]
• 1963 October 18: In Honor of His Majesty King Humbert II of Savoy
• 1964 March 16: Physician's Wine Appreciation Society
• 1964 June 16: Un Diner de Convives
• 1964 August 7: New York Life Welcomes Directors and Wives American Bar Association Endowment
• 1965 June 9: Africa Service Institute in honour of Mr. John Mosler
• 1965 June 27: Dinner in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weinberger on the occasion of their marriage tendered by Mr. and Mrs. Alex Rutledge
• 1965 September 1: Reception and Dinner Honoring Mr. Joseph L. Eckhouse
• 1965 December 1: Reception and Dinner in honor of Dr. and Mrs. A. W. Jann
• 1965 December 9: Reception and Luncheon tendered by Max M. Fisher
• 1966 January 26: Charter Members Luncheon Club
• 1966 April 29: Reception and Dinner
• 1966 November 6: general menu [in pencil on verso: "Cohen Nathaniel"]

1959-1966
Box: 1 Folder : 2-3 Scrapbook (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1967 February 1: Dinner in Honor of Charles Henri Heidsieck by Thomas F. McCarthy
• 1967 March 22: Confrérie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs
• 1967 June 18: Wedding Reception and Dinner in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Slater
• 1967 November 16: Physician's Wine Appreciation Society
• 1967 November 27: The Plimsoll Club
• 1967 December 12: Confrérie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs
• 1967 December 19: Le Parlement de Saint Nicolas de la Commanderie de Bordeaux
• 1968 January 16: Confrérie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs
• 1968 January 18: Luncheon to Honor Count Michel d'Ornano
• 1968 February 19: Foods of the World Press Reception
• 1968 February 29: Reception and Dinner in honor of James E. Aitken
• 1968 March 20: Dinner to Honor the Delegation from the Finance Committee of the French National Assembly
• 1968 May 1: Dinner in Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Henri Woltner by Thomas F. McCarthy
• 1968 May 28: Luncheon to Honor General Georges F. Doriot
• 1968 June 9: Wedding Reception and Dinner in honor of Doctor and Mrs. Emanuel Marritt
• 1968 September 6: In Honor of Minx Deutsch and Mel Boren, Pre-nuptial Dinner
• 1968 September 7: In Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Mel Boren, Wedding Dinner
• 1968 October 31: Christian Brothers of California Third Annual Wine Harvest Luncheon
• 1968 December 9: Le Parlement de Saint Nicolas de la Commanderie de Bordeaux
• 1969 September 11: Confrérie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs
• 1970 December 17: Le Parlement de Nöel de la Commanderie de Bordeaux
• 1971 March 11: Four Seasons Grill Room Dinner
• 1971 April 7: Diner de Gala Taittinger
• undated: Wine and Food Society, Inc., New York
• undated: Dinner honoring the Continental Mark IV

1967-1973
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Scrapbook

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1974 March 12: Fête de Jurade de St. Emilion
• 1977 June 14: Summer
• 1977 September 26: Fall
• 1978 April 5: Spring
• 1978 June 21: Summer
• 1978 September 26: Autumn
• 1979 March 20: Spring
• 1979 June 20: Summer
• 1979 October 3: Autumn
• undated: The Four Seasons Grill (multiple drafts, versions)
• undated: This Evening's Entrees for the Four Seasons Theatre Dinner

1974-1979
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Scrapbook

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1980 January 10: Winter
• 1980 March 27: Spring
• 1980 June 17: Summer
• 1980 September 17: Autumn
• 1981 January 14: Winter
• 1981 June 23: Summer
• 1981 September 22: Autumn
• 1981 December 16: Winter
• 1982 March 23: Spring
• 1982 April 22: Spring (at the Dorchester, London)
• 1982 June 15: Summer
• 1982 October 12: Autumn

1980-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 6-7 Scrapbook (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1983 March 16: Spring
• 1983 June 14: Summer
• 1983 October 4: Autumn
• 1984 January 12: Winter
• 1984 March 21: Spring
• 1984 June 20: Summer
• 1984 October 9: Autumn

1983-1984
Box: 1 Folder : 8-9 Scrapbook (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1985 January 16: Winter
• 1985 June 13: Summer
• 1985 October 8: Autumn
• 1986 January 16: Winter
• 1986 March 25: Spring

1985-1987
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Scrapbook
1988-1989
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Scrapbook
1990-1992
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Scrapbook
1993
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Scrapbook

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1994 January 19: Winter Four Seasonal
• 1994 May 1: Third Annual Dinner Debut of the 1990 Barolo Vintage (invitation + menu)
• 1994 May 11: Wine Writers Circle 20th Anniversary Luncheon
• 1994 September 29: Autumn Four Seasonal
• 1994 October 23: Premiere Showing of the Bordeaux Vintage 1992 (invitation)

1994
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Scrapbook

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1995 February 5: Irvington Institute for Medical Research, Valentine's Day (invitation + menu)
• 1995 May 1: Fourth Annual Dinner Debut of the 1991 Barolo Vintage (invitation)

1995
Box: 2 Folder : 5-6 Scrapbook (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Includes menus dated

• 1996 January 30: Winter Four Seasonal
• 1996 March 26: Spring Four Seasonal
• 1996 May 6: Fifth Annual Dinner Debut of the 1992 Barolo Vintage (invitation + menu)

1996
Box: 2 Folder : 7-9 Scrapbook (3 folders)
1997 January - June
Box: 2 Folder : 10-11 Scrapbook (2 folders)
1997 July - December
Box: 3 Folder : 1-3 Scrapbook (3 folders)
1998 January - June
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Scrapbook
1998 June - August
Box: 3 Folder : 5-6 Scrapbook (2 folders)
1998 September - December
Box: 3 Folder : 7-8 Scrapbook (2 folders)
1999 January - May
Box: 3 Folder : 9-11 Scrapbook (3 folders)
1999 May - September
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Scrapbook
1999 October - December
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Scrapbook
2000 January - June
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Scrapbook
2000 June - December
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Scrapbook
2001
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Scrapbook
2002
Box: 4 Folder : 5-7 Scrapbook (3 folders)
2003
Box: 4 Folder : 8 Loose material from scrapbooks
1993, 1995
Box: 4 Folder : 9-11 Loose material from scrapbooks (3 folders)
2005-2019, undated
Oversize: small Folder : 1 of 4 Loose material from scrapbooks
circa 1970-2015, undated
Oversize: medium Folder : 1 of 1 Loose material from scrapbooks
2016, undated

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Series II. Ephemera, 1962-2019, undated

Scope and Contents

A mix of printed items and smaller-sized objects produced by or for the restaurant.

Arrangement

Organized alphabetically by topic.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 12 Bar Room Savories menu
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 13 Cooking Class
2019 March 2
Box: 4 Folder : 14 Cooking Class
2019 May 11
Box: 4 Folder : 15 Employee Handbook
[2018-2019]
Box: 4 Folder : 16 Employment Manual
1992 July
Box: 4 Folder : 17-18 JFK 45th birthday (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

The Four Seasons hosted a dinner for John F. Kennedy following the Democratic Party's fundraising gala in his honor at Madison Square Garden, where Marilyn Monroe famously sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Includes layout and table set-up instructions, staff assignments for the evening, and a framed menu.

1962 May 19
Box: 5 Folder : 1 "Lunch Money"

Scope and Contents

Small black, canvas, zippered change purse with caricatures of Four Seasons owners Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini, containing a gold-toned token with the same images and stamped "LUNCH FOR TWO AT THE BAR / IN JULIAN I TRUST" and "A BOTTLE OF CA' DEL BOSCO / IN ALEX I TRUST."

[circa 1994-2019]
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Matchboxes (3)

Conservation note

Boxes (with Four Seasons logo) retained, and stick matches discarded for safety, January 2020.

undated
Box: 5 Folder : 3 News Articles
circa 2014
Box: 5 Folder : 4 [Operations manual]

Scope and Contents

From a binder labeled "Menu."

[before 2016]
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Place cards (blank)
undated
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Press packet, original location
circa 2000
Box: 5 Folder : 7-9 Press packet, new location (3 copies in 3 folders)
[2016]
Box: 5 Folder : 10 Shopping bag

Scope and Contents

Small, paper doggie bag with cord handles and Four Seasons logo.

undated
Box: 5 Folder : 11 Stationery

Scope and Contents

Blank stationery designed with caricatures of Julian Niccolini, Alex von Bidder, and other Four Seasons personnel.

undated
Box: 9 Volume : 1 Wine list
2005 May 20
Box: 9 Folder : 1 Wine list (incomplete)
2007 October 15
Box: 9 Volume : 2 Wine list (2 copies)
2008 February 12
Box: 9 Folder : 2 Wine list illustrations
undated

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Series III. Photographs, slides, transparencies, circa 1970s-2015

Scope and Contents

Images of renovations to the Four Seasons kitchen in 1997, the restaurant's 40th anniversary celebration in 1999, and views of its spaces and staff at various events.

Arrangement

Organized by photographic format: prints, slides, transparencies, and photograph albums.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 12-19 Photographs. Kitchen renovation (8 folders)
1997 January 1-18
Box: 5 Folder : 20 Photographs. Food preparation and interiors
[circa 1997?]
Box: 5 Folder : 21-23 Photographs. Miscellaneous (3 folders)

Scope and Contents

Chiefly images of Four Seasons owners Tom Margittai, Paul Kovi, Julian Niccolini, and Alex von Bidder posed with celebrities and world figures who visited the restaurant, such as Anne, Princess Royal, James Beard, George H. W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Bill Clinton, David Frost, Keith Hernandez, Philip Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Sophia Loren, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Lee Radziwill, Diane von Furstenberg, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the 14th Dalai Lama.

Conservation note

Contents of Folder 23 treated for mold, January 29, 2020.

circa 1970s-2015
Oversize: small Folder : 2 of 4 Photographs. Miscellaneous
circa 1980s-2015
Box: 5 Folder : 24-25 Slides. [Restaurant interiors and staff] (2 folders)
1995-1998, undated
Box: 5 Folder : 26 Slides. [Restaurant interiors] (Daniel Aubry)
[2001]
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Slides. 40th anniversary (Mary Hilliard)
1999 June 24
Box: 6 Folder : 2 Slides. 40th anniversary (Patrick McMullan)
1999 June 24
Box: 6 Folder : 3 Transparencies. [Kitchen staff] (C. G. Winston)
undated
Box: 8 Volume : 1 Photograph album (green binding). Four Seasons. Fred Marcus Photography
undated
Box: 8 Volume : 2 Photograph album (brown binding). Gruber Photographers
undated
Box: 8 Volume : 3 Photograph album (black binding). Miscellaneous
undated

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Series IV. Renovations (original and new location), 1987-2018

Scope and Contents

Files documenting renovations and construction at the original (99 East 52nd Street) and final (42 East 49th Street) locations of the Four Seasons.

Arrangement

Organized alphabetically by topic.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 6 Folder : 4 Renovations: A

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Authorization
• Architects: bills
• Architects: contracts & agreements
• Architects: proposals
• Asbestos: proposals
• Asbestos: reports
• AVB [Alex von Bidder]: renovation notes

1995-1997
Box: 6 Folder : 5 Renovations: B

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Bathroom: ADA
• Braun Equipment Company
• Broiler

1992-1996
Box: 6 Folder : 6-8 Renovations: Bake Shop (3 folders)
1998-2000
Box: 6 Folder : 9 Renovations: C

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Canopy: correspondence & reports; proposals; schedules
• Canopy: sign
• Carpet
• Cold Food Preparation / Coffee Station
• Construction Manager (TECOR)

1987-2011
Box: 6 Folder : 10 Renovations: E-I

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Electrical
• Elevator
• Engineers
• Exhaust
• Belmont Freeman
• Furniture
• Ice Machines
• Inspection (Dept. of Buildings)

1992-2011
Box: 6 Folder : 11 Renovations: K

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Kitchen: bills; contracts / agreements; correspondence & reports
• Kitchen: equipment; estimates
• Kitchen Facilities Renovation

1995-1997
Box: 6 Folder : 12 Renovations: L

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Landmarks [i.e., New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission]
• Loading Dock
• Locker Room

1996-1999
Box: 6 Folder : 13 Renovations: M

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Maintenance Contracts
• Metal Refinishing

1996-2001
Box: 7 Folder : 1 Renovations: O

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Office Restoration
• Operating & Maintenance Manuals [for] Food Service Equipment

2000
Box: 7 Folder : 2-3 Renovations: P (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Pending Maintenance
• Picasso Cleaning
• Plants (foliage)
• Plumbing
• Point of Sale -- Remanco
• Pool

1988-2002
Box: 7 Folder : 4 Renovations: Project Manual
1996
Box: 7 Folder : 5 Renovations: Restoration Budget
1996
Box: 7 Folder : 6 Renovations: S

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Sciame Construction
• Stonhard

1998-2009
Box: 7 Folder : 7 Renovations: T-W

Scope and Contents

From hanging files labeled

• Tecor
• Telephone Door
• Woodwork

1995-2001
Box: 7 Folder : 8 New location. Corey Di Stasio Design. Four Seasons Restaurant Code Signage Design Development
2018 March 9
Box: 7 Folder : 9 New location. Mark Ladner & Michael Wilson. Four Seasons Summary & Direction Notes
[2018]
Box: 7 Folder : 10 New location. Isay Weinfeld architectural designs
2016-2017
Oversize: small Folder : 3 of 4 New location. Isay Weinfeld architectural designs
2016-2017
Box: 7 Folder : 11 New location. HMWhite. Four Seasons North & South Terrace Preliminary Planting Palette
2017 March 23
Oversize: small Folder : 4 of 4 New location. HMWhite. Four Seasons North & South Terrace Preliminary Planting Palette
2018
Box: 9 Tube : 1 New location. Gel with Four Seasons trees logo

Scope and Contents

Two colored transparent sheets.

circa 2016-2018

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Series V. Books, pamphlets, and periodicals, 1971-2016, undated

Scope and Contents

Contains publications relating in some way to the Four Seasons restaurant, its food, decor, and history.

Arrangement

Organized chronologically by publication date.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 10 Volume : 1 Charlotte Adams. The Four Seasons Cookbook
1971
Box: 10 Volume : 2 One Hundred Seasons (2 copies)
[1984]
Box: 10 Volume : 3 Martha Stewart. Weddings

Scope and Contents

Autographed on front flyleaf: "For everyone at the Four Seasons, Happiness, Best Wishes and Joy! Martha Stewart."

1987
Box: 10 Volume : 4 Gersil N. Kay. Fiber Optics in Architectural Lighting: Methods, Design, and Applications
1999
Box: 10 Volume : 5 Dunbar Fine Furniture of the 1950s
2000
Box: 10 Volume : 6 Leslie McGuirk and Alex von Bidder. Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant

Scope and Contents

Children's picture book about a puppy's introduction to good manners at the Four Seasons, co-written by restaurant owner Alex von Bidder.

2009
Box: 10 Volume : 7 Ron and Kristine Guialdo. The Color of Magic Event Design
2011
Box: 10 Volume : 8 The Four Seasons Without Rothko: Completing a Landmark Modernist Interior
2011
Box: 10 Volume : 9 The Four Seasons [Wright auction catalog, July 26, 2016] (2 copies)
2016
Box: 10 Volume : 10 [Wright Auctions] The Four Seasons: The Iconic Interior by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe & Philip Johnson. Proposal for sale.
2016
Box: 10 Volume : 11 Levy Lighting | NYC @ The Four Seasons Restaurant
undated
Box: 10 Volume : 12 [Photobook. Julie Skarratt Photography, Inc.]
undated
Box: 10 Volume : 13 [Photobook. Allan Zepeda Photography]
undated
Box: 10 Volume : 14 Poi Ti Spiego . . . The Recipe Booklet of the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York @ Bloomingdale's

Conservation note

Water damage has caused the pages of this booklet to stick together, rendering the whole mostly unusable. January 29, 2020.

undated

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Series VI. Audiovisual, 1990-2012, undated

Scope and Contents

VHS cassettes, CDs, and DVDs, with footage and still images of the Four Seasons staff being profiled by various news outlets (CNN, Charlie Rose), weddings held at the restaurant, and television programs (both reality and scripted) filmed in its Pool Room, such as Bravo TV's "Bethenny Getting Married?" and the short-lived CBS soap "Central Park West."

Arrangement

Divided by format -- VHS cassettes and CDs/DVDs -- and organized chronologically.

Sub-series VI.A. VHS (31 cassettes), 1990-2000, undated

Restricted

The VHS cassettes in Series VI are restricted because of their fragility and because N-YHS has no equipment on which to play them. For further information please contact the curator of manuscripts at manuscripts@nyhistory.org.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 11 Financial News Network: Four Seasons segments from "The American Entrepreneur"
1990 October 22 & 23
Box: 11 Rolling Stone 25th Anniversary Comp Reel
1992
Box: 11 Food Network: Food News & Views
1995 May 1
Box: 11 NY1 News: Four Seasons
1995 July 26
Box: 11 Food Network: Food News & Views Interview with Christian Albin
1995 October 29
Box: 11 CBS: Four Seasons / Hitsch, sea urchin
1996 February 28
Box: 11 Power Lunch
1996 May 14
Box: 11 E T [Entertainment Tonight?] story on Central Park West. Pool Fight
1996
Box: 11 CBS: Central Park West
1996 June 28
Box: 11 Pat Bullard Show, Segments 4 & 5
[1996 November 8?]
Box: 11 Where New York: In Food Today
1997 March 31
Box: 11 Excerpt, Four Seasons Restaurant, from "A Taste of the Nation N.Y."
1997 April 28
Box: 11 Biz Buzz, Cable New Network: "Gourmet / Best Restaurants"
1997 November 27
Box: 11 CBS This Morning, CBS: "Four Season [sic] / Broadcasting"
1997 December 16
Box: 11 John Francini, ABC
1998
Box: 11 Nick Drakides, CBS: "Public Eye"
1998 May 27
Box: 11 David Letterman, CBS: "Martha Stewart Joke"
1998 July 20
Box: 11 "Casino"
1998 November 6
Box: 11 World News Tonight, ABC: "Alternative Dinner"
1998 November 25
Box: 11 Charlie Rose / Four Seasons
1999 June
Box: 11 NY1: Four Seasons
1999 July 2
Box: 11 CNN Pinnacle: The Four Seasons (2 copies)
2000 February 20
Box: 11 NBC: Four Seasons
2000 November 12
Box: 11 19.12.18 - 19.18.25
undated
Box: 11 Cholesterol Special
undated
Box: 11 Executive Chef Christian Albin
undated
Box: 11 Martha Stewart (Duck)
undated
Box: 11 Talking Food Show #525
undated
Box: 11 labeled "Blank"
undated
Box: 11 unlabeled
undated

Sub-series VI.B. CDs & DVDs (29 discs), 1999-2012, undated

Restricted

The digital media (i.e., CDs and DVDs) in Series VI, are currently restricted from access in order to ensure that the digital files are not accidentally corrupted. For further information please contact the curator of manuscripts at manuscripts@nyhistory.org.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 7 Folder : 12 CD. Four Seasons 50th Anniversary: Billy Farrell Bulk Selects (2 discs)
2009 June 11
Box: 7 Folder : 13 CD. Four Seasons 50th Anniversary: Patrick McMullan Bulk Selects (2 discs)
2009 June 11
Box: 7 Folder : 14 CD. Four Seasons 50th Anniversary: Neil Rasmus Bulk Selects (2 discs)
2009 June 11
Box: 7 Folder : 15 CD. Children's Day at the Four Seasons. Photos by Annie Watt
2012 August 24
Box: 7 Folder : 16 CD. [Alex von Bidder, Julian Niccolini, Christian "Hitsch" Albin, Bill Clinton]

Scope and Contents

Disc labeled "AVB / JN / HA / Clinton" holding one photo of Alex von Bidder (AVB), Bill Clinton, Four Seasons chef Christian "Hitsch" Albin (HA), and Julian Niccolini (JN).

undated
Box: 7 Folder : 17 CD. "All Photos"
undated
Box: 7 Folder : 18 DVD. Alex von Bidder and Julian Niccolini on Charlie Rose
1999 June 29
Box: 7 Folder : 19 DVD. Rothko's Rooms: The Life and Works of an American Artist
2000
Box: 7 Folder : 20 DVD. Darcy Miller, Wedding

Scope and Contents

The marriage of Darcy Miller, weddings editor at Martha Stewart Living magazine, to Andrew Nussbaum, took place at the Four Seasons on May 5, 2001.

[2001 May 5]
Box: 7 Folder : 21 DVD. Gourmet: Four Seasons Retrospective
2003 March 31
Box: 7 Folder : 22 DVD. Colameco's Food Show: The Four Seasons
2004
Box: 7 Folder : 23 DVD. Power Lunch at the Four Seasons (CNBC / NBC Universal) (2 copies)
2009 April 16
Box: 7 Folder : 24 DVD. Four Seasons Roast / PGP

Scope and Contents

Brief video prepared for the Four Seasons' 50th anniversary party on May 5, 2009. Features Le Cirque owner Sirio Maccioni.

[2009 May 5]
Box: 7 Folder : 25 DVD. The Ultimate Power Lunch: 50 Years at the Four Seasons (CNBC / NBC Universal) (5 copies)
2009 July 3
Box: 7 Folder : 26 DVD. Bethenny Getting Married?, season 1, episode 5 (4 copies)

Scope and Contents

The marriage of Bravo TV reality start Bethenny Frankel to Jason Hoppy took place at the Four Seasons in March 2010. Footage of the ceremony and reception aired as season 1, episode 5 of the series "Bethenny Getting Married" (later renamed "Bethenny Ever After") on July 8, 2010. The date stamped on the DVD--August 24, 2010--is likely when the disc was burned.

2010 August 24
Box: 7 Folder : 27 DVD. [Bill White and Bryan Eure wedding] (3 copies)

Scope and Contents

The marriage of Bill White and Bryan Eure took place at the Four Seasons on October 23, 2011.

[2011 October 23]
Box: 7 Folder : 28 DVD. [CNN story on Four Seasons]
undated

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Series VII. Objects, 1995-2018, undated

Scope and Contents

Larger-format plaques, awards, and restaurant rating signage. Includes construction samples from the Four Seasons second and final location, 42 East 49th Street.

Arrangement

Organized chronologically.

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 13 New York Times plaque

Scope and Contents

Columnist Ruth Reichl's New York Times "Dining in New York" review of the Four Seasons, March 17, 1995, shellacked and mounted on a wooden plaque (19.5 x 12.5 inches).

Caution

Box is extremely heavy.

1995 March 17
Box: 12 BiZBash award

Scope and Contents

Sculptural lucite, plastic, and metal letter "B" inscribed "Alex von Bidder / BiZBash Hall of Fame / 2005 BiZBash Event Style Awards."

2005
Box: 12 Zagat rating (3 versions)

Scope and Contents

Three Lucite plaques (2 large, 1 small) of the Four Seasons 2014 Zagat restaurant review rating, for which it received 27 (out of a possible 30) for food, 28 for decor, and 27 for service. Meals cost an average of $103 per person.

2014
Box: 12 Hard hat

Scope and Contents

White hard hat with Four Seasons logo and address 280 Park Avenue, the parent building of the restaurant's second and final location, 42 East 49th Street.

circa 2016-2018
Box: 12 Stone & wood samples

Scope and Contents

Two square (3 x 3-inch) stone tiles and three wood samples (marked "Four Seasons Rosewood," "Four Seasons Teak," and "Four Seasons Walnut,") presumably used in the restaurant's second and final location, 42 East 49th Street.

circa 2016-2018
Box: 13 John Lewis Glass samples

Scope and Contents

Two 8 x 8-inch samples of "cast glass goldleaf custom gold powder" for the bar counter in the Four Seasons second and final location, 42 East 49th Street.

Caution

Box is extremely heavy.

circa 2016-2018
Box: 12 Gift box with ribbon

Scope and Contents

Small (5 x 6.75-inch) hinged brown box with Four Seasons tree logo, plus white ribbon with same logo (inside box).

undated

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