The Waldorf Astoria Hotel Interior Designation.
WHEREAS, The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is a historic, landmark building located at 301 Park Avenue, between 49th and 50th Streets, and bound on the east by Lexington Avenue; and
WHEREAS, The Art Deco building was completed in 1931 at 47 stories by architectural firm Schultze & Weaverand and was the tallest hotel in the world at the time; and
WHEREAS, The 1,413-room Hotel was recently purchased by Anbang Insurance Group and is expected to close in 2017 for a partial conversion to a residential condominium; and
WHEREAS, In an effort to protect the vulnerable interior architectural details and culturally historical spaces, a review of most of the public areas has been completed by Community Board Five; and
WHEREAS, The Hotel entry foyer on Park Avenue contains almost all original Art Deco designs and metal work, as well as the famous "Wheel of Life" mosaic, and murals; and
WHEREAS, The Vanderbilt Room off of the Foyer on the first floor still maintains original marble columns with gold-leaf cornices and nickel railings, and its well-known patterned mirror wall theme; and
WHEREAS, The Empire Room off of the Foyer on the first floor, though renovated, was home to great performers like Count Basie, Lena Horne, and Dorothy Dandridge, who was the first African-American performer at the Hotel; and
WHEREAS, Peacock Alley, the South Lounge, the East Gallery, the Main Elevator Hall, and the Ballroom Elevator Vestibule are all public corridors on the first floor decorated with rouge French Marble and white marble columns, French Walnut paneling, and maple display cases showcasing historic photos and artifacts from the original Waldorf Hotel, the original Astoria Hotel, and the current Waldorf Astoria Hotel's past, with these areas including original decorative Art Deco metal work, silver-plate elevators, and hidden compartments; and
WHEREAS, The Main Lobby on the first floor is home to the largest hand-tufted rug ever woven in one location, as well as a 4,000 pound bronze clock with eight faces that was made for the 1893 World's Fair, and has seen countless world dignitaries and famous actors come through, and the lobby's towering columns, ceiling metalwork of various animals and scenery, desks and counters, and doorway detail have all been restored at various times in the past to their original splendor; and
WHEREAS, The Grand Ballroom on the third floor was the largest space of its kind when constructed, and aside from original Art Deco metal grates, railings, lighting, and decorative figures and animals along the private balconies, this space has played a significant role in global history hosting the first L.P. record ever played, World Peace Conferences during a time of war, was home to the famous April in Paris Ball, and even hosted various significant corporate events including car shows unveiling state-of-the-art cars; and
WHEREAS, The Silver Corridor on the third floor which was closely designed to resemble the original Peacock Alley of the old Waldorf and Astoria Hotels still features Edward Simmons' murals of the four seasons and 12 months of the year that were brought from the original Astor Hotel, and has almost all architectural details intact; and
WHEREAS, The Bull and Bear Steak House is furnished in richly polished mahogany in the English Regency style and is based on the original Waldorf Astoria Bar, which was a favorite haunt of many of the financial elite of the city, such as Diamond Jim Brady, Buffalo Bill Cody and Bat Masterson, and behind the bar are bronze statues of a bull and a bear, which represent the successful men of Wall Street; and
WHEREAS, The Astor Salon, the Jade Room, and the Basildon Room are entertainment spaces on the third floor that are almost entirely accurate to their original form, and have hosted many events since the hotel's opening; and
WHEREAS, The Starlight Roof on the 18th Floor played host to high-society of the 1930s and 1940s in the form of one of the most famous nightclubs and gathering spots of the time and, although it no longer features a retractable roof and open terraces, does still possess a pergola above decorated with gazelle and Pegasus motifs and decorative etched glass and mirrors from the prominent Victor White; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of interior landmark status for the culturally and architecturally significant spaces of the Waldorf Astoria, which include but are not limited to, the hotel entry foyers, the Main Lobby, the public gathering spaces and corridors of the first, third floors and 18th floors, various restaurants within the hotel, entertainment and assembly rooms throughout the hotel, and any other areas deemed appropriate by the NY Landmarks Preservation Commission.