Historic Hotels in New York City

Waldorf Astoria


In 1897, the Astoria Hotel and the Waldorf Hotel merged to form the Old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, on Fifth Avenue. Soon it became famous, but in 1929 it was demolished to make way to Empire State Building.

The current Art Deco Waldorf Astoria New York, was built on 301 Park Avenue and it was opened to the public on October 1, 1931. It was then the largest and tallest hotel of the time, with 47 floors and twin towers reaching 191 meters high. It was designed by Schultze & Weaver, architects, and built by Thompson-Starrett Company. It occupies a double block from Park to Lexington avenues, between East 49th and East 50th streets, Midtown East, Manhattan. The exterior was designed in a way that a number of open-air terraces was provided for the use of patrons in connection with some of the residential suites.

It was the first hotel to have electricity on every floor, the first to have ensuite baths, and the first to offer 24-hour room service.

More: Interior design of the Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria welcomed presidents, royals, movie stars, and cultural luminaries into its grand public spaces and palatial suites. In 1934, Cole Porter moved to Waldorf Astoria and kept his residence at the it until his death in 1964, then Frank Sinatra moved into the same suite.

Hilton Hotels bought Waldorf-Astoria in 1972. The name lost its hyphen and the brand was expanded to Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, a division of Hilton Hotels, with several units worldwide. In 2014, the Anbang Insurance Group of China purchased the Waldorf Astoria New York, but it is still run by Hilton.

In 2017, the Waldorf Astoria New York temporarily closed for renovation. The Waldorf Astoria Residences in the The Towers of the building are being reformed. They are luxurious homes with owner benefits and Waldorf service.


Waldorf Astoria


Historic Hotels in NYC



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Old Waldorf-Astoria


The Waldorf Astoria Hotel at 301 Park Avenue in a vintage postcard.




Al Pacino and Gabrielle Anwar dancing tango in Waldorf Astoria (Scent of a Woman, 1992).


Design New York




Midtown NY


Al Pacino


Park Avenue Hotel


Buildings in Midtown Manhattan seen through Waldorf Astoria's Twin Towers. The Empire State Building is in the distance. The domes are made of copper sheets. Photograph by Underwood & Underwood, taken about 1931. Source: New York Public Library.


Park Avenue NY


Twin Towers


Lexington Avenue


Park Avenue entrance


Plaza Hotel


Park Avenue


Ritz Tower


Hotels NYC


Waldorf Astoria in Midtown Manhattan, Park Avenue and East 49th Street. photograph by Wurts Bros., 1931, it was the year it opened. Source: New York Public Library.


NY Hotels


History Waldorf-Astoria



Waldorf Astoria


Historic Hotels