Waldorf Astoria, New York

Schultze and Weaver
Date Built
Completed in 1931
301 Park Avenue between 49th and 50th streets
In July of 2020 the Waldorf Astoria hotel is closed.  Its website explains that, “…. The Waldorf Astoria New York is currently closed while undergoing a complete renovation and restoration. It is planned to reopen in two to three years. Waldorf Astoria New York will feature restored historic public and event spaces along with luxury condominiums and guest rooms and suites that will set a new standard for luxury and service in New York."

The story of this historic hotel begins in the 19th century when William Astor, apparently motivated in part by a dispute with his aunt Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, built the Waldorf Hotel on his father’s land next door to her house.  The Waldorf opened its doors in 1893.  In 1897 John Jacob Astor IV built the 17-storey Astoria Hotel so close to the Waldorf that at one point they were connected via an alley known as Peacock Alley.  Together the two separate buildings became the Waldorf Astoria, the largest hotel in the world at that time.

The original Waldorf Astoria was demolished in 1929 to make way for the Empire State Building.  It was replaced in 1931 by the present art deco landmark building designed by architects Schultze and Weaver.  From 1931 until 1963 it held the title of the world’s tallest hotel.

The hotel’s Wikipedia page claims that, “…. in October 2014 it was announced that the Anbang Insurance Group of China had purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York for US$1.95 billion, making it the most expensive hotel ever sold. On July 1, 2016, Anbang announced that it would convert some of the Waldorf's hotel rooms into condominiums, closing the hotel for a three-year renovation on March 1, 2017. The renovated structure will house 375 hotel rooms and 375 brand-new residential condos.”