Waldorf Astoria New York

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Waldorf Astoria New York
Waldorf Astoria exterior.jpg
Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue facade
Waldorf Astoria New York is located in Manhattan
Waldorf Astoria New York
General information
Location 301 Park Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates 40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.75639°N 73.97417°W / 40.75639; -73.97417Coordinates: 40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.75639°N 73.97417°W / 40.75639; -73.97417
Opening 1893 (Waldorf Hotel)
1897 (Astoria Hotel)
1931 (Waldorf-Astoria Hotel)
Owner Hilton Worldwide
Management Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
Height 190.5 m (625 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 47
Design and construction
Architect Schultze & Weaver
Lee S Jablin, Harman Jablin Architects
Other information
Number of rooms 1,508
Number of restaurants Peacock Alley
Bull and Bear Steakhouse
Oscar's Brasserie
[1] 2594[2][3]

The Waldorf Astoria New York is a luxury hotel in New York City. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building, at 301 Park Avenue in Manhattan, is a 47-story 190.5 m (625 ft) Art Deco landmark designed by architects Schultze and Weaver and dating from 1931.


The name of the hotel is ultimately derived from Walldorf in Germany and the prominent German-American Astor family that originated there.[4] The hotel was originally known as The Waldorf-Astoria with a single hyphen, as recalled by a popular expression and song, "Meet Me at the Hyphen." The sign was changed to a double hyphen, looking similar to an equals sign, by Conrad Hilton when he purchased the hotel in 1949.[5] The double hyphen visually represents "Peacock Alley", the hallway between the two hotels that once stood where the Empire State building now stands today. The use of the double hyphen was discontinued by parent company Hilton in 2009, shortly after the introduction of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts chain.[6] The hotel has since been known as the Waldorf Astoria New York.


First Waldorf Astoria[edit]

The first hotel, the 13-story Waldorf Hotel, designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, was opened on March 13, 1893[7] at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on the site where millionaire developer William Waldorf Astor had his mansion.[7] On November 1, 1897, Waldorf's cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, opened the 17-story Astoria Hotel on an adjacent site.[7] A corridor was constructed to connect the two buildings, which became known as the "Waldorf-Astoria".[8] The United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic was opened in the hotel starting on April 19, 1912 and continued there for some time, before moving on to Washington, D.C..[9] By the 1920s, the hotel was becoming dated, and the elegant social life of New York had moved much farther north than 34th Street. The Astor family sold the hotel to the developers of the Empire State Building and closed the hotel on May 3, 1929. It was demolished soon after.[7]

Current Building[edit]

The new Art Deco hotel was designed by architects Schultze and Weaver and constructed at 301 Park Avenue, just north of Grand Central Terminal. That area was developed by building atop the existing railroad tracks leading to the station, with buildings like the Waldorf-Astoria utilizing "air rights" to the space above the tracks.[10]

The new building opened on October 1, 1931. The 47-story 190.5 m (625 ft) hotel was the tallest and largest hotel in the world, and remained so for a number of years.[11] The large mass of the building covering the entire block, up to the 17th floor, consisted of public rooms and 1500 hotel rooms,[12] while the slender central tower was known as the Waldorf Towers, with its own private entrance on 50th Street, and consisted of 100 suites, about one third of which were leased as private residences.[13]

President Herbert Hoover said on the radio, broadcast from the White House: "The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality...marks the measure of nation's growth in power, in comfort and in artistry...an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation..."[7]

The 1945 film Week-End at the Waldorf, starring Ginger Rogers, was set at the hotel and filmed partially on location there.[14]

Conrad Hilton acquired management rights to the hotel on October 12, 1949.[15] The Hilton Hotels Corporation finally bought the hotel outright in 1972.[16]

Lee S Jablin, Harman Jablin Architects, fully renovated and upgraded the historical property to its original grandeur during the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s.

The hotel was named an official New York City Landmark in 1993.[17]

In 2006, Hilton launched Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury brand named for the iconic hotel.[18] The Waldorf Astoria New York is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The Waldorf Towers" continues to operate as a boutique "hotel within a hotel".

The Waldorf Astoria was the first hotel to offer room service.[19] The modern hotel has three American and classic European restaurants, and a beauty parlor located off the main lobby. Several boutiques surround the lobby, which contains Cole Porter's Steinway & Sons floral print decorated grand piano on the Cocktail Terrace, which the hotel had once given him as a gift.[20] Porter was a resident at the hotel for 25 years and composed many of his songs here.

The hotel has its own railway platform as part of Grand Central Terminal, used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, James Farley, Adlai Stevenson, and Douglas MacArthur, among others. An elevator large enough for Franklin D. Roosevelt's automobile provides access to the platform.[21]

Waldorf Salad[edit]

Waldorf salad — a salad made with apples, walnuts, celery, grapes, and mayonnaise or a mayonnaise-based dressing — was first created in 1896 at the Waldorf in New York City by Oscar Tschirky, who was the maître d'hôtel. This type of salad featured prominently in the plot of an episode of the British comedy Fawlty Towers.

See also[edit]




  1. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at Emporis
  2. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at SkyscraperPage
  3. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at Structurae
  4. ^ Emmerich 2013, p. 7.
  5. ^ "The Waldorf-Astoria". Edwardianpromenade.com. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Waldorf Astoria Drops the Equals Sign We'd Barely Noticed". HotelChatter. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Hotel history". Waldorfnewyork.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Waldorf Astoria" on New York Architecture
  9. ^ http://www.history.com/news/six-degrees-of-titanic
  10. ^ http://web.mta.info/capital/esa_docs/eafiles06/06%20Historic%20Resources.pdf
  11. ^ Korom 2008, p. 422.
  12. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=MAUaAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=waldorf+astoria+1949+conrad+hilton&source=bl&ots=8a2YwK5Sui&sig=V085i-psUGOgX47eafYBwBvYts8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0VysU5KrE4-LqAa80IKgAw&ved=0CB8Q6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=waldorf%20astoria%201949%20conrad%20hilton&f=false
  13. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=MAUaAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA105&lpg=PA105&dq=waldorf+astoria+1949+conrad+hilton&source=bl&ots=8a2YwK5Sui&sig=V085i-psUGOgX47eafYBwBvYts8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0VysU5KrE4-LqAa80IKgAw&ved=0CB8Q6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=waldorf%20astoria%201949%20conrad%20hilton&f=false
  14. ^ http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/about-the-waldorf/hotel-history.html
  15. ^ http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/about-the-waldorf/hotel-history.html
  16. ^ http://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/waldorf-astoria-new-york-NYCWAWA/about/legacy.html
  17. ^ http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/about-the-waldorf/hotel-history.html
  18. ^ http://www.waldorfnewyork.com/about-the-waldorf/hotel-history.html
  19. ^ Hilton 1957, p. 227.
  20. ^ Davis 2011, p. 27.
  21. ^ "Waldorf-Astoria's private rail platform forever closed". NewYorkology. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 


Further reading

External links[edit]