7. The Story Behind the Miniature Statue of Liberty in the Lobby
The grand clock that sits in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria was originally exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. In 1902, John Jacob Astor afixed a small Statue of Liberty, a gift from France, to the top, creating intense friction with the British who originally commissioned the clock.
During the Waldorf Astoria’s renovations, the clock has received an extensive restoration. Until the hotel re-opens and the clock is returned to the lobby, you can see it on display at the New-York Historical Society. The Historical Society has multiple items from inside the Waldorf Astoria including John F. Kennedy’s Rocking Chair and the Cole Porter’s Steinway piano has been displayed there as well. Another iconic piece of the hotel that will return upon its openng is the Art Deco Spirit of Achievement statue sculpted by Iceland’s first female sculptor Nina Saemundsson.