Waldorf Astoria New York
|Waldorf Astoria New York|
Waldorf Astoria, Park Avenue facade
|Location||301 Park Avenue
New York City, New York
|Opening||1893 (Waldorf Hotel)
1897 (Astoria Hotel)
1931 (Waldorf-Astoria Hotel)
|Management||Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts|
|Height||190.5 m (625 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Schultze & Weaver
Lee S Jablin, Harman Jablin Architects
|Number of rooms||1,508|
|Number of restaurants||Peacock Alley
Bull and Bear Steakhouse
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. 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. 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. The hotel has since been known as the Waldorf Astoria New York.
First Waldorf Astoria
The first hotel, the 13-story Waldorf Hotel, designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, was opened on March 13, 1893 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on the site where millionaire developer William Waldorf Astor had his mansion. On November 1, 1897, Waldorf's cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, opened the 17-story Astoria Hotel on an adjacent site. A corridor was constructed to connect the two buildings, which became known as the "Waldorf-Astoria". 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.. 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.
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.
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. The large mass of the building covering the entire block, up to the 17th floor, consisted of public rooms and 1500 hotel rooms, 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.
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..."
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.
In 2006, Hilton launched Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury brand named for the iconic hotel. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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- "The Waldorf-Astoria". Edwardianpromenade.com. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
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- Davis, Gerry Hempel (16 November 2011). Romancing the Roads: A Driving Diva's Firsthand Guide, East of the Mississippi. Taylor Trade Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58979-620-1.
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- Hilton, Conrad Nicholson (1957). Be My Guest. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-76174-5.
- Korom, Joseph J. (2008). The American Skyscraper, 1850-1940: A Celebration of Height. Branden Books. ISBN 978-0-8283-2188-4.
- Pommer, Alfred; Pommer, Joyce (2013). Exploring Manhattan's Murray Hill. The History Press. ISBN 978-1-62619-059-7.
- White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (11 May 2010). AIA Guide to New York City. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-977291-9.
- Crockett, Albert Stevens (1 August 2005). The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. New Day Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9743259-0-3.
- Morrison, William Alan (14 April 2014). Waldorf Astoria. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4671-2128-6.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Waldorf-Astoria.|
- Waldorf-Astoria New York Hotel
- Waldorf Astoria at the Internet Archive
- The Astor Collection at the University of Virginia virtual exhibition of Native American artifacts originally displayed in the Grill Room of the Astor Hotel
- "The Waldorf Astoria - Host To The World", DVD-2008
- Waldorf-Astoria at History of New York City
- The Waldorf Astoria Archive