3. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Its very name evokes a sense of wealth and luxury, and the Waldorf-Astoria has been a symbol of grandeur since its inception. It was the world’s tallest hotel when it opened, rising 625 feet into the air.

From the exterior, it is a relatively underwhelming mass of gray brick and stone, but you can see the Art Deco elements upon a closer look. The hotel’s entrance is covered with drapes emblazoned with sculpted women, and its foyer is embellished with mythological imagery.

The Waldorf-Astoria as it is today is the result of a collision of many different forces. In 1859, members of the Astor family built houses on Fifth Avenue that would eventually become the Victorian-style Hotel Waldorf, which was later joined to the neighboring seventeen-story Astoria. In 1929, the hotel moved to the more stylish Park Avenue, the original hotel site was turned into the Empire State Building, and plans for the new Waldorf-Astoria were set into motion. The new architects, Shultze & Weaver, were faced with the imperative to design a building that both appealed to modern sensibilities and maintained the extravagant Victorian beauty of its prior location. Thus, the Waldorf-Astoria came to embody both Greek classicism and Art Deco modernism. Its iconic Art Deco interiors were recently dedicated as a New York City interior landmark, a relief to preservationists while the building undergoes partial conversion into condos and the hotel is renovated by new owners.

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2 thoughts on “The Top 10 Most Stunning Art Deco Buildings in NYC

  1. 70 pine was the tallest building in NYC until the World Trade Towers were built? Did we forget about the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, etc? Did you mean tallest in the financial district?

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