3. Waldorf Astoria
The famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel has a quintessential New York City-origin story. It began as a family feud and rivalry between two very wealthy cousins who shared the last name Astor. William Waldorf Astor proceeded to irritate his cousin John Jacob Astor by building a 13-story hotel on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street, on a residential block where John Jacob’s mother lived. Four years later, John Jacob, in turn, built a 17-story hotel just a few feet away–and the rest is history. Today, the Waldorf ranks amongst the finest hotels in the world. It was also the first hotel to introduce room service and continues to lead hospitality industry.
That’s why the closing of the historic Waldorf Astoria hotel in March 2017 for a renovation into condos hit a nerve for many of us. The Waldorf-Astoria hotel proper will be reduced in size and the remaining sections repurposed into condo apartments. During renovations, you can see the famous lobby clock at the New-York Historical Society. This continues a trend already extant inside the Waldorf Astoria: The Waldorf Towers has been a separate residence since 1931. Also, check out the Secrets of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.