Last month, before coronavirus paralyzed New York City, we got a behind-the-scenes look into the renovation of the landmarked Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Opening in 2022 and 2023, the new Waldorf Astoria will be home to a 375-hotel room operation and 375 residences.
In March 2017, the Waldorf Astoria closed to the public in preparation for the conversion and the clock in the lobby tolled at midnight for the last time. Also that month, the interior of the Waldorf Astoria was officially designed a New York City landmark which protected the hotel’s various public spaces, including the rooms and corridors on the ground, first, second and third floors.
The Waldorf Astoria was not originally located at this site along Park Avenue. Located at 34th Street and Fifth Avenue, the Waldorf Astoria was first two separate hotels owned by John Jacob Astor IV and William Waldorf Astor. They were combined in 1897 to create the largest hotel in the world, connected by a marble-lined “Peacock Alley” that ran between the two buildings. After the death of both men, the land where the grand hotel sat was sold in 1928 to a developer, who demolished the building and erected the Empire State Building. In 1931, the Waldorf Astoria opened where it is today welcoming stars and power brokers for the nearly the next ninety years.
Here, we show you a model two-bedroom apartment in the Waldorf Astoria and a look at the restored Cole Porter Steinway piano that had long been at the Waldorf Astoria (and had a foray at the New-York Historical Society prior to its restoration). The restoration and conversion is helmed by an all-star team with architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), residential interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot, and hotel interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon.
Like many other condo conversions in historical buildings, like the Woolworth Building and 100 Barclay, the Waldorf Astoria Residences have a lot of private amenities — 50,000 square feet of them. There will be a 25-meter pool with skylights above, wellness lounges, landscaped terraces, movie theater, game room, and a co-working lounge.