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Daryl Rosen-Huitt (P)

May 1, 2019

Daryl Rosen-Huitt (current parent) was featured in a story about the Chase Park Plaza in the May issue of St. Louis Magazine: "Daryl Rosen-Huitt was 3 when her family moved to the Chase; her dad, Dan Rosen, would be its general manager for the next six years. Soon Daryl was doing cartwheels down the long halls and taking her friends trick-or-treating from door to door (the permanent residents having been warned in advance). At Thanksgiving, the orphaned German chef and British staffers ate with the Rosens. Myrtle the Elevator Lady, one of Daryl's special friends, came and made the gravy while Daryl's mom, who'd never needed to learn how to cook, ran the elevator for her. Most nights, the Rosens ate in one of the hotel restaurants. Tomboy Daryl wasn't wild about dressing up for the Hunt Room's fancy Sunday brunch — one of the first of its kind — but she sneaked more than her share of sticky caramel-pecan rolls. The Sea Chase was too fancy, too, but she loved looking at the lobsters swimming beneath the 11-foot replica the Sea Witch (used in The Wreck of the Mary Deare, starring Charlton Heston). She remembers Alberto Villalobos as a debonair and kindly presence, though she never knew his backstory. Villalobos had just arrived from Mexico when he met Sam Koplar. 'If you stick with me, I'll take care of you for life,' Koplar said. Villalobos, 16, helped dig the foundation of the Park Plaza for 11 cents an hour. He'd eventually manage several Chase lounges. In his mid-nineties, he was still donning a tuxedo every night and making the long walk from his apartment to the Park Plaza lobby, his cane reflecting in his black patent leather shoes. Once he arrived, he'd sit at the desk, greeting people, telling stories and napping. 'That was the other thing about the Chase,' Rosen-Huitt says. 'Everybody there really enjoyed what they were doing. I don't know that people enjoy their lives like they used to.' She shakes off the mood with a short laugh. 'It sets your life up to be very unrealistic. I think I lived in a dream world for a while. I felt like a princess.'" Read the story in its entirety here.