50. Della Robbia Bar – Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
Wags tells Mafee to take a meeting with a competing investment bank to Spartan & Ives. As usual Wags has something up his sleeve, but it’s not clear until the story progresses exactly what. The competing firm takes Wags and Mafee to Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (in the former Della Robbia Bar), an interior landmark that is the “lone remnant of an interior ensemble destroyed in a 1960s modernization of the former Vanderbilt Hotel into a multi-use building,” write Gura and Wood in Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York. Guastavino tile, like those in Grand Central Terminal, are brightly colored here.
The Vanderbilt Hotel was part of a larger grand plan around Grand Central Terminal, known as Terminal City. The Della Robbia Bar is also an example of preservation and landmarking by means of community, grass-roots efforts. In the case of the Della Robbia, the organization Friends of Terra Cotta campaigned for its designation.