11. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse (formerly the Della Robbia Bar) would have clearly been a stunning place to enter when it was built in 1913, but today it is even more remarkable for the fact that it 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. The Vanderbilt Hotel was part of a larger grand plan around Grand Central Terminal, known as Terminal City.
Wolfgang’s is also an example of preservation and landmarking by means of community, grass-roots efforts. In this case, the organization Friends of Terra Cotta campaigned for its designation. In addition to the tiling work, the restaurant interior features polychrome ornamental tile by the Rookwood Pottery Company of Cincinnati.