Known internationally as a symbol of elegance and luxury, Manhattan’s Waldorf-Astoria is one of the world’s most famous hotels. Its reputation as a host to political leaders and movie stars is matched only by the renown of its cuisine and soaring Art Deco architecture. In our upcoming virtual talk with historian David Freeland, based on his new book, American Hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria and The Making of a Century, we will go behind the glittering image, using rare photos and documents to reveal the full extent of the Waldorf’s contribution as a shaper of twentieth-century life and culture.

Waldorf Astoria and the Making of a Century

In this talk:

  • Uncover the history of Peacock Alley and how it got its name
  • Find out the truth about the “feuding” Astor cousins whose money built the original Waldorf- Astoria on Fifth Avenue, where the Empire State Building now stands
  • Discover secrets of the Waldorf’s “black book” – the detectives’ log of immoral and illegal activity kept hidden from all but the most senior hotel staff
  • Learn about the remarkable technological maneuvers that enabled the “new” Waldorf-Astoria – a skyscraper that opened on Park Avenue in 1931 – to be constructed on top of railroad tracks as passenger trains continued to run below.
  • Receive a 30% discount code to purchase Freeland’s book

Tickets to this talk are just $10. You can gain access to unlimited free virtual events per month and unlock a video archive of 100+ past events as an Untapped New York Insider starting at $10/month. Already an Insider? Register here! Can’t make it live? Register for this virtual talk and we’ll email you a recording of it after it ends.

Courtesy of the author

David Freeland is the author of Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan’s Lost Places of LeisureLadies of Soul, and American Hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria and The Making of a Century. Freeland is a historian and writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, New York History, American Songwriter, and other publications. He lives in New York and leads walking tours on the history of the city.

Waldorf Astoria and the Making of a Century

Next, check out Top 10 Secrets of the Waldorf Astoria