The Waldorf

While we were in New York City we stayed at The Benjamin hotel on the northeast corner of 50th Street and Lexington Avenue.

We stayed at The Benjamin.

Diagonally across the intersection is the renowned Waldorf Astoria.

The Waldorf’s mosaic lobby floor.

We took a stroll through the lobby and a short rest in their atrium.

Charlie looks right at home in the historic hotel lobby.

Unbeknownst to us the Waldorf would close the next week to undergo a complete renovation and restoration. It is planned to reopen in two to three years. Waldorf Astoria New York will feature restored historic public and event spaces along with luxury condominiums and guest rooms and suites that will set a new standard for luxury and service in New York.

The floor is beautifully detailed.

From the Waldorf Astoria website:

The Waldorf Astoria New York hotel is an essential destination for enthusiasts of the Art Deco style. Recognized as one of the world’s most significant examples of Art Deco art and architecture, this New York City luxury hotel is a living museum of decorative ornamentation, design, remarkable paintings and beautiful motifs. An official New York City landmark since 1993, the Art Deco hotel occupies an entire city block in midtown Manhattan.

The original Waldorf Hotel was built on the site of millionaire William Waldorf Astor’s mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street.  The 13-story hotel opened on 13 March 1893. Four years later, Waldorf’s cousin, John Jacob Astor IV, erected the 17-story Astoria Hotel on an adjacent site. John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic on 15 April 1912.  William Waldorf Astoria, having returned to England in 1893, died 18 October 1919.

In 1929, the owners decided to tear down the original building due to it becoming dated and the draining of its revenues caused by Prohibition.  The site was sold to the developers of what would become the Empire State Building. The current location on Park Avenue opened on 1 October 1931 as the tallest and largest hotel in the world.

Hilton purchased the property in 1949 (the building and management contract), for $3 million, from New York State Realty & Terminal Company. New York Central RR owned the land, which Hilton purchased in 1977.
How they’ll improve this I don’t know.

When it opens again, if we get to NYC, perhaps we’ll take afternoon tea.

What city are you fond of visiting?


Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

6 thoughts on “The Waldorf”

  1. I had read that it was to be remodeled, which made me nervous, so I’m glad you were able to see it before it closed. You’re right – Charlie does look right at home there.

    1. There was a piano on the landing from where I took the picture. I have since found out that it might have been played from time to time by Cole Porter, my favorite lyricist/composer. Jo

  2. Did you have the nerve to sit down and play that piano? In my fantasies, I can play Cole Porter flawlessly … but in reality I am not musical at all.

    1. I thought it was weird that it was closing for so long and that we didn’t know it had happened until we got home. No sign of closing at the hotel itself. Jo

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