Waldorf Astoria Undergoes Historic Redesign

by | Apr 5, 2017 | Design

Of all the long-standing names in the global hospitality industry, perhaps none sums up class, luxury and fine travelling as well as Waldorf Astoria, a staple of the vibrant New York City hotel scene.

Currently, this classic property is preparing for a two to three year renovation. Now, history buffs may be a bit afraid of what this could mean for one of the most beautiful and Classic Hotels in all of New York, if not in the entire world. But those concerns are unfounded. The Waldorf Astoria’s forthcoming renovation will touch many of the hotels corridors, rooms, and other components, but all work is being planned and designed with an eye toward Waldorf Astoria’s storied and glittering past.

Many historic events have taken place in this hotel since it opened its doors in its current Midtown New York City location in 1931. The limestone and brick that makes up its walls have played host to all manner of noteworthy people and events. When the renovation is complete, history minded guests will likely be delighted to find that the newest touches tend to harken back to Waldorf’s earliest years.

This is a sepia toned vision to be sure, and to bring it to life, Waldorf Astoria’s owners, Anbang Insurance Group of China, has elected to call upon the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, the same group that is responsible for the work done at One World Trade Center, as well as the Burj Khalifa, among many other iconic buildings. They will also be employing the world famous services of Pierre-Yves Rochon, who was the mastermind behind the remodels of the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris and the Savoy hotel in London.

Rochon recently spoke about the project and his hopes for it, pointing to archival images of the original hotel interiors that his work may harken back to.

“We will bring back the life,” said Rochon. “We tried to come back to this and re-create what it was before—a place you want to stay.”

The Waldorf is a 47-floor building, and it has been an official exterior landmark since 1993. Its interior were also given landmark status just days after it closed its doors for the renovations earlier this year. The hotel has also long been a favorite among some of the most famous celebrities of any given era, with notable repeat guests including Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Angelia Jolie, to say nothing of royalty and the heads of state that have stayed at the historic hotel through the years.

Plans for the building’s exterior contain the work of Lloyd Morgan, who will craft the installation of all-new windows in the Waldorf Astoria’s façade, including 5,380 in total once the work is completed. At street level, passersby and guests will also notice that the bronze entryways, marquees, lanterns and other classic ornamentation has been updated all while remaining true to the original spirit of the hotel.

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