[UPDATE 11/1/16: The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to calendar the interiors of the Waldorf Astoria for landmark consideration. The vote will happen at a later date.
A commission representative called the interior spaces up for consideration “some of the finest and most varied Art Deco interiors in New York City,” with Commissioner Vauss acknowledging that it’s an “unparalleled experience” to walk through the flow of rooms considered for landmarking. The building is already an individual landmark, but that does not necessarily protect its interiors.]
The Landmarks Preservation Commission will decide on Tuesday whether to calendar the Waldorf Astoria Hotel’s interiors for consideration as a New York City landmark. The decision comes after an October 25 open appeal to the commission from the New York City Landmarks Conservancy.
The vaunted hotel was purchased by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. for $1.95 billion from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. in October 2014. The following February Anbang announced that the hotel would undergo a partial condo conversion, where 1,100 of its 1,413 rooms are expected to go residential. The announcement worried many for many reasons, not the least of which is the treatment of the historic hotel’s Classical Modernist and Art Deco interiors.
Anbang has been in conversation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission about its treatment of the hotel’s beloved common spaces, like its lobbies, Peacock Alley, Grand Ballroom, and John Jacob Astor Salon. The hotel’s exterior is already a New York City landmark.
Leading up to Tuesday’s hearing, Anbang issued the following statement
Anbang knows the Waldorf’s history is a large part of what makes this hotel so special. That’s why we fully support the LPC’s recommendation for what would be one of the most extensive interior landmark designations of any privately owned building in New York. These designations are consistent with our vision and will protect the Waldorf’s significant public spaces. We are now finalizing renovation plans for the Waldorf that preserve these spaces and will ensure that the Waldorf will provide memorable experiences for generations to come. We look forward to sharing our plans publicly when they are complete.
Per the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the following interior spaces at the Waldorf Astoria are up for calendar consideration:
- Park Avenue vestibules and foyer
- Lexington Avenue vestibules and foyer
- first floor interior consisting of the Park Avenue Lobby and colonnade
- West Lounge (formerly Peacock Alley)
- West Elevator Lobby, Main Lobby, Main Lobby Hall
- East Arcade
- Lexington Avenue stairs and landing on second and third floors
- Grand Ballroom and balconies, Ballroom Entrance Hall (formerly Silver Gallery), Ballroom Foyer
- Basildon Room, Jade Room, Astor Gallery, foyer connecting the Jade Gallery and Astor Gallery with Lexington Avenue stairs
- Fixtures and interior components of these spaces, including but not limited to the wall surfaces, ceiling surfaces and floor surfaces, murals, mirrors, chandeliers, lighting fixtures, attached furnishings, doors, exterior elevator doors and grilles, railings and balustrades, decorative metalwork and attached decorative elements
- Waldorf Astoria owner pledges to save hotel’s Art Deco interiors [Curbed]
- Waldorf Astoria Jumps on Bandwagon, Plans Condo Conversion [Curbed]
- All coverage of NYC hotels [Curbed]