The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street
Architect: Henry J. Hardenberg (1847 - 1918)
Henry J. Hardenbergh (1847-1918)
Second Empire Baroque French Chateau
Stone and brick cladding, steel frame. Mansard roof.
Building Type: Hotel
The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is a famously luxurious hotel in New York. It has been housed in two historic landmark buildings in New York City. The first, designed by architect Henry J. Hardenbergh, was on the Fifth Avenue site of the Empire State Building. The present building at 301 Park Ave in Manhattan is a 47 story, 625 ft. Art Deco landmark, designed by architects Schultze and Weaver and dating from 1931. The hotel is the flagship of the Waldorf-Astoria Collection, a chain of upscale hotels spun out of the Hilton Hotels and Conrad Hotels chains, as well as some new hotels.
The name, Waldorf=Astoria, now officially appears with a double hyphen, but originally the single hyphen was employed, as recalled by a popular expression and song, "Meet Me at the Hyphen."
The modern hotel has three American and classic European restaurants, and a beauty parlor located off the main lobby. Several luxurious boutiques surround the distinctive lobby, which has won awards for its restoration to the original period character. An even more luxurious, virtual "hotel within a hotel" in its upper section is known as The Waldorf Towers operated by Conrad Hotels & Resorts.
FACTS ABOUT THE HOTEL:
The hotel has its own railway platform as part of Grand Central Terminal, used by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson and Douglas MacArthur among others. An elevator large enough for Franklin D. Roosevelt's car provides access to the platform.
The original Waldorf-Astoria was used in the investigation into the Titanic sinking.
After a New York ticker-tape parade in his honor for winning four Olympic gold medals, Jesse Owens had to ride the freight elevator to attend a reception for him at the Waldorf-Astoria due to its segregation policies.
In 1954, Israeli statesman and archaeologist Yigael Yadin met secretly with the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Mar Samuel in the basement of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to negotiate the purchase of four Dead Sea Scrolls for Israel. Yadin paid $250,000 for all four.
The annual International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria is held to formally introduce young high society women.
On May 1, 2004, the Waldorf-Astoria was the venue for the Grand Europe Ball, a historic black-tie charitable affair co-chaired by Archduke Georg of Austria-Hungary which celebrated the Enlargement of the European Union.