The Tavern on the Green was built in 1870 as a sheepfold. It housed 200 South Down sheep, which grazed across the street in Central Park's Sheep Meadow. It served in that capacity until 1934, when legendary Parks Commissioner Robert Moses decided the building should be a restaurant. The opening of the new restaurant, Tavern on the Green, occurred on October 20, 1934. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia opened the establishment with a brass key and, in the company of Commissioner Moses, took a tour of the facility. Fiorello and Moses pronounced their satisfaction with Central Park's newest attraction after talking with the chef and sampling a breakfast sausage. Tavern on the Green quickly became an integral part of the city's summer social life. In the late 1930s, the building was taken over by the Civilian Patrol Corps as its headquarters until 1943, when the management of the Claremont Inn on Riverside Drive acquired it and renovated it to become a year-round restaurant. By the 1950s, Tavern on the Green was in need of some restoration. Designer Raymond Loewy was hired to renovate the building, which resulted in the addition of the Elm Room (now the Park Room), named after the tree it surrounded. The Restaurant Associates took it over in 1962. By the early 1970s, however, Tavern on the Green was a restaurant no longer in synchrony with the times, and the associates shut it down 1974. Warner LeRoy, creator of the popular Maxwell's Plum, acquired the lease and started a spectacular $10 million renovation. With LeRoy's addition of the glass enclosed Crystal and Terrace Rooms, his lavish use of brass, stained glass, etched mirrors, original paintings, antique prints and, above all, chandeliers, the Tavern was reincarnated. It became a glittering palace, Central Park's most spectacular structure. The reincarnated Tavern on the Green took New York by storm from the moment it reopened on August 31, 1976. It dazzled the city with its decorative whimsy and eclectic menu. Celebrities flocked to the restaurant to see and be seen. The Tavern's size, spectacular setting and radiant charm made it "the" place for New York's most prestigious events. The Tavern is to this day the “place” to be.