The hotel and restaurant's two-story-tall main dining room features a library of 25,000 books, many of which came from the late philanthropist's collection.
How did they get there?
A June 2 Nadeau's auction-which understandably received less publicity than the record-breaking, $832.6-million Christie's sale a few months earlier-included 18 lots of books, and the NoMad snapped up enough to fill two truck loads. Many of the books are inscribed with names, dates, and notes written by various Rockefeller family members and friends. Some date to as early as the 1800s.
Will Guidara, restaurateur and co-owner of Make It Nice, the hospitality group that includes the NoMad hotels and restaurants along with Eleven Madison Park (and its seasonal pop-ups), says that having some of the Rockefeller library is especially meaningful to him.
"It’s almost surreal," Guidara said in an e-mail. I grew up in Westchester, New York, and the name Rockefeller is one I’ve known my entire life. It has always represented something magical, something mystical, something larger than life to me. We talk about creating magical worlds in our restaurants, so to have all these books from his library, to me that makes this restaurant feel that much more magical."
A magical experience is what Guidara and his partner, chef Daniel Humm, are going for at the new property.
"There’s a theatricality to this city that doesn’t exist anywhere else, a love for hospitality, and a real appreciation for experience," Guidara said. He wanted the new restaurant to be "something that, in many ways, was much more over the top than what we do in New York, but also much more intimate than what exists in Las Vegas. We wanted it to capture the sense of grandeur that people expect when they visit here, but also to serve as an oasis or an escape within the city."
And a place to pick up a good book.
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