Waldorf Astoria New York

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Waldorf Astoria New York
Park Avenue Entrance.jpg
Waldorf Astoria Park Avenue
General information
Location301 Park Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7565°N 73.97413°W / 40.7565; -73.97413Coordinates: 40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7565°N 73.97413°W / 40.7565; -73.97413
Opening1893 (Waldorf Hotel)
1897 (Astoria Hotel)
1931 (Waldorf-Astoria Hotel)
OwnerHilton Worldwide
ManagementWaldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
Height190.5 m (625 ft)
Technical details
Floor count47
Design and construction
ArchitectSchultze & Weaver
Lee S Jablin, Harman Jablin Architects
Other information
Number of rooms1,508
Number of restaurantsPeacock Alley
Bull and Bear Steakhouse
Oscar's Brasserie
Website
www.WaldorfNewYork.com
[1] 2594[2][3]
 
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Waldorf Astoria New York
Park Avenue Entrance.jpg
Waldorf Astoria Park Avenue
General information
Location301 Park Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7565°N 73.97413°W / 40.7565; -73.97413Coordinates: 40°45′23″N 73°58′27″W / 40.7565°N 73.97413°W / 40.7565; -73.97413
Opening1893 (Waldorf Hotel)
1897 (Astoria Hotel)
1931 (Waldorf-Astoria Hotel)
OwnerHilton Worldwide
ManagementWaldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
Height190.5 m (625 ft)
Technical details
Floor count47
Design and construction
ArchitectSchultze & Weaver
Lee S Jablin, Harman Jablin Architects
Other information
Number of rooms1,508
Number of restaurantsPeacock Alley
Bull and Bear Steakhouse
Oscar's Brasserie
Website
www.WaldorfNewYork.com
[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. 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 Waldorf Astoria New York is a member of Hilton's Luxury and Lifestyle Brands along with Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts. The Waldorf Astoria New York is a member of Historic Hotel of America the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Waldorf Astoria was the first hotel to offer room service, making a huge impact for the future of the hotel industry.

The modern hotel has three American and classic European restaurants, and a beauty parlor located off the main lobby. Several boutiques surround the lobby. A boutique "hotel within a hotel" housed on the upper floors is known as The Waldorf Towers. 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.[4]

Its name is ultimately derived from Walldorf in Germany and the prominent German-American Astor family that originated there.

History[edit]

The Waldorf-Astoria at the original location, demolished for the construction of the Empire State Building. Rendering by Joseph Pennell, ca. 1904-1908.
The awning over the Park Avenue entrance in 2006, showing the hotel's name with the double hyphen then in use.

An Astor family feud contributed to the events which led to the construction of the original Waldorf-Astoria on Fifth Avenue.

It started as two hotels: one owned by William Waldorf Astor, whose 13-story Waldorf Hotel was opened in 1893 and the other owned by his cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, called the Astoria Hotel and opened four years later in 1897, four stories higher.

William Astor, motivated in part by a dispute with his aunt, Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, built the original Waldorf Hotel next door to her house, on the site of his father's mansion and today's Empire State Building. The hotel was built to the specifications of founding proprietor George Boldt; he and his wife Louise had become known as the owners and operators of the Bellevue, an elite boutique hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Broad Street, subsequently expanded and renamed the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel. Boldt continued to own the Bellevue (and, later, the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel) even after his relationship with the Astors blossomed.

Engraved 1916 letterhead of the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia including vignettes of that hotel as well as those of both the Waldorf and Astoria Hotels in New York all of which were then operating under the management of George Boldt.

William Astor's construction of a hotel next to his aunt's house worsened his feud with her, but, with Boldt's help, John Astor persuaded his mother to move uptown. John Astor then built the Astoria Hotel and leased it to Boldt. The hotels were initially built as two separate structures, but Boldt planned the Astoria so it could be connected to the Waldorf by Peacock Alley. The combined Waldorf-Astoria became the largest hotel in the world at the time, while maintaining the original Waldorf's high standards.[5]

Park Avenue foyer (in 1987)

The Waldorf Astoria is historically significant for transforming the contemporary hotel, then a facility for transients, into a social center of the city as well as a prestigious destination for visitors and a part of popular culture.[5] The Waldorf-Astoria was influential in advancing the status of women, who were admitted singly without escorts. Founding proprietor Boldt became wealthy and prominent internationally, if not so much a popular celebrity as his famous employee, Oscar Tschirky, "Oscar of the Waldorf." Boldt built one of America's most ambitious houses, Boldt Castle, on one of the Thousand Islands. George Boldt's wife, Louise Kehrer Boldt, was influential in evolving the idea of the grand urban hotel as a social center, particularly in making it appealing to women as a venue for social events.

The private elevator lobby of the Waldorf Towers section of the hotel

When the new Waldorf Astoria skyscraper was built over air rights of the New York State Realty and Terminal Company on Park Avenue, a cast of well reputed furnishers and decorators was assembled to lend the new hotel a grand yet domestic atmosphere. Former Waldorf manager Lucius M. Boomer had retired to Florida after the original Waldorf-Astoria buildings were demolished, but he retained exclusive rights to the name, which he transferred to the new hotel. Boomer died in an airplane crash in 1947 and Conrad Hilton bought The Waldorf Astoria in 1949.[6]

Spelling of the name[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8] The hotel has since been known as the Waldorf Astoria New York.

Notable residents[edit]

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Park Avenue with Helmsley Building and Met Life Building in background

Notable events[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The classic Waldorf Salad
A typical elevator indicator at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. This elevator was made by Otis.

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts[edit]

Following Blackstone Group's acquisition of Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Hotels began establishing a brand of hotels worldwide using the iconic name of the New York hotel in 2007. Currently the chain consists of over 25 hotels worldwide.

International locations include Rome, Berlin, Jeddah, Jerusalem, Beijing, Shanghai, and Dubai. Locations in the United States include Park City, Utah, Naples, Florida, New Orleans, Phoenix, Arizona, and Orlando, near Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 2009, 78 years to the day after the New York property opened.[31]

Plans were announced in 2007 for a Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. Proposed by developer Oasis West Realty LLC, the project would have expanded upon the nine-acre site of the Beverly Hilton (formerly owned by the late Merv Griffin). Plans included removing existing low-rise buildings and adding a 12-story Waldorf-Astoria hotel and a pair of eight and 18 story condo towers. Though the Beverly Hills City Council approved the $500 million project by a 3-2 vote local activists gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on the decision on the November 4, 2008 ballot. A week after the vote local Measure H was losing by 68 votes, with provisional ballots yet to be counted. On December 2, 2008, Yes on H passed by 129 votes, 7972 to 7834. However, the hotel was never built due to the 2008 economic collapse.

A combination hotel and condominium Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and Residence Tower project to be developed by third parties for Hilton in Chicago was announced, but canceled due to the economic collapse as well.[32] In late 2011 it was announced that the Elysian Hotel would be renamed the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, allowing the Waldorf Astoria to have a presence in Chicago.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at Emporis
  2. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at SkyscraperPage
  3. ^ Waldorf Astoria New York at Structurae
  4. ^ "Waldorf-Astoria's private rail platform forever closed". NewYorkology. 7 February 2006. Retrieved 25 February 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Guard shot during robbery attempt at Waldorf-Astoria". CNN. 2008-11-16. [dead link]
  6. ^ Stanley Turkel (1931). "A New Waldorf Against The Sky". Old and Sold. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  7. ^ The Waldorf-Astoria |. Edwardianpromenade.com (2009-04-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  8. ^ Waldorf Astoria Drops the Equals Sign We'd Barely Noticed. HotelChatter (2009-02-10). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  9. ^ Scroop, Daniel (2006). Mr. Democrat: Jim Farley, the New Deal, and the Making of Modern American Politics. press.umich.edu. pp. 215–229. ISBN 9780472021505. OCLC 646794810. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  10. ^ Broad, William J. (May 4, 2009). "A Battle to Preserve a Visionary’s Bold Failure". New York Times.
  11. ^ "Marilyn Monroe's Personal Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Invoices". Marilynmonroecollection.com. 1956-12-18. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  12. ^ "United States Mission to the United Nations" "Protocol supports the Permanent Representative and USUN Ambassadors by planning, managing and executing events at the Mission, the residence of the Permanent Representative at the Waldorf=Astoria Towers,..."
  13. ^ [1] Video - WalkAbout NY: Paris Hilton Returns to Her Roots. June 5, 2010. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Reed, Paula (2012). Fifty Fashion Looks that Changed the 1960s. Design Museum, London: Hachette UK. ISBN 1840916176. 
  15. ^ Wong, Aliza Z. (2010). Julie Willett, ed. The American beauty industry encyclopedia: Hairstylists, Celebrity. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood. pp. 151–154. ISBN 9780313359491. 
  16. ^ Collins, Amy Fine (1 June 2003). "It had to be Kenneth.(hairstylist Kenneth Battelle)(Interview)". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 3 December 2012. 
  17. ^ As quoted in "Owens pierced a myth" by Larry Schwartz in ESPN SportsCentury. (2005)
  18. ^ National Football Foundation. "Awards Dinner". www.footballfoundation.org. 
  19. ^ http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/marie-claire/features/society-celeb/article/-/5877245/life-story-edith-piaf/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Hospitality Design, July/August 1994, "Presidential Suite, The Waldorf Towers, New York City", Susan Dorn, Pages 31-35.
  21. ^ "Senior Class of 2008 News: Prom Information". The Bronx High School of Science. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  22. ^ Salamone, Gina (2008-05-28). "The $1,000 prom night: New Yorkers dropping average of $1K on big event". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  23. ^ "Russian Children's Welfare Society". Rcws.org. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  24. ^ NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, New York University.
  25. ^ AHN
  26. ^ James Barron, Dear Waldorf, Mummy Stole Your Teapot Back in 1935. So Sorry., New York Times, September 26, 2012
  27. ^ Leah A. Zeldes (7 October 2009). "Eat this! Waldorf Salad, A Apple-licious Fall Favorite". Dining Chicago. Retrieved 22 February 2011. 
  28. ^ "About.com". Hotels.about.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  29. ^ "New York Holidays". Bestatnewyorkcitybreaks.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  30. ^ The Big Sea: An Autobiography by Langston Hughes.
  31. ^ October 2, 2009: WAR VETERAN HONORED AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA ORLANDO OPENING CEREMONY. Waldorfastoriaorlando.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  32. ^ "Waldorf-Astoria, Chicago". SkyscraperPage.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  33. ^ "The Waldorf Astoria Chicago" (in (Russian)). Waldorfastoria3.hilton.com. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 

External links[edit]