Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Last Look at the Waldorf Before Renovation

New York City's famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel (1931 version) is set to be closed early in 2017 for renovation and partial conversion to condominiums. That's what this Wikipedia entry mentions as of the time this post is being drafted (5 October 2016).

My wife and I decided to stay at the Waldorf to experience it before its closure. She had stayed there as a college student on her way to a European tour and I spent a few nights there in the late 1970s while on a business trip.

Below are some photos I took of present details. I suppose most of these will be preserved, but don't know for sure.


An architectural rendering of the hotel from before it was built. It's on display on the lobby floor. Some reflections are on its protective glass, so the image is slightly degraded.

The Park Avenue entrance.

A closer look at the exterior ornamentation.

View towards Park Avenue from inside that entrance.

Panning to the left of the previous image, we find this.

Foyer view opposite from the previous photo.

Opposite the entrance is this hallway and elevator lobby leading to the main lobby.

Inside the main lobby. The elaborate clock was from the original Waldorf-Astoria located on the present site of the Empire State Building.

Two views of Peacock Alley, located on the north side of the main lobby. It's a bar and restaurant, but the original was a passage in the old Waldorf-Astoria where elegant ladies could and would promenade.

Door grillwork on the lobby level.

Tower elevator door decorations.

This was our room in the Towers. I include this photo because, unlike the public areas pictured above, this is likely to disappear during the renovation.

As you probably noticed, the Waldorf-Astoria is an example of Art Deco architecture and ornamentation. Very little of the geometric kind of Art Deco here, but more of the "organic" style seen in the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (Wikipedia entry here), which had its roots in Art Nouveau.

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