Waldorf Astoria – Renovation and Restoration

Waldorf Astoria - Exterior - Crown on Park Avenue
Waldorf Astoria
Waldorf Astoria

This comprehensive renovation will introduce a new residential component within the storied hotel, while restoring the grandeur of one of New York’s most exquisite Art Deco landmarks.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2023
  • Size Building Height: 625 feet Number of Stories: 44 Building Gross Area: 1,600,000 square feet
  • Landmark Status New York City Individual and Interior Landmark
  • Year Originally Built 1931
  • Collaborators
    Weitzman Group Clevenger Frable Lavallee Residential Realty Advisors Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, Inc. Stantec Consulting Trilogy Spa Holdings Kroll Security Group Lerch Bates Architectural Openings, Inc. Focus Lighting, Inc. Ribbit Inc. Longman Lindsey Socotec Jean-Louis Deniot Kruger Ning Lighting Pierre Yves Rochon Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Robert Silman Associates Shen Milsom & Wilke Philip Habib & Associates Metropolis Group Inc. SLS Fire Consulting MPFP
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2023
  • Size Building Height: 625 feet Number of Stories: 44 Building Gross Area: 1,600,000 square feet
  • Landmark Status New York City Individual and Interior Landmark
  • Year Originally Built 1931
  • Collaborators
    Weitzman Group Clevenger Frable Lavallee Residential Realty Advisors Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, Inc. Stantec Consulting Trilogy Spa Holdings Kroll Security Group Lerch Bates Architectural Openings, Inc. Focus Lighting, Inc. Ribbit Inc. Longman Lindsey Socotec Jean-Louis Deniot Kruger Ning Lighting Pierre Yves Rochon Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Robert Silman Associates Shen Milsom & Wilke Philip Habib & Associates Metropolis Group Inc. SLS Fire Consulting MPFP

Renewing New York’s “unofficial palace”

When the Waldorf Astoria opened its doors on Park Avenue in 1931, the new building became an instant New York City icon. The world’s first skyscraper hotel has played host to celebrities, royalty, and heads of state, and as a favored setting for elegant social events, it earned the nickname “the unofficial palace of New York.” Designed by the firm Schultze & Weaver, the full-block building features the stepped massing that is emblematic of Art Deco architecture, with distinctive twin towers at the top. It is clad in limestone, brick in a shade known as “Waldorf Gray,” and bronze entryways that lead to lavish interiors. In 1993, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the exterior as a city landmark. Two decades later, a series of its indoor public spaces—from the main lobby and the surrounding corridors to many of the spaces above—were landmarked as well.

But in the 90 years since its completion, the Waldorf Astoria has undergone piecemeal renovations, including many that heavily altered the architecture. This highly complex project will restore the exterior and the landmarked interior, and convert the former 1,400-room hotel into a 375-unit residential building and 375-key boutique hotel.

Waldorf Astoria
© SOM
Waldorf
© SOM

A comprehensive restoration

The renewed facade will bring back the splendor of the original design, with the bronze entrances and distinctive brickwork cleaned and restored. Before the restoration began, only one of the Waldorf Astoria’s 5,400 windows was original to the building; now that window is serving as the basis for thousands of replacements, with about 900 new windows being expanded a full foot taller to bring in more natural light. Mechanical systems are being removed from the setbacks, making way for new outdoor terraces with sweeping views of the city.


Unparalleled residential amenities

The terraces are just one of the many amenities that the new Waldorf Astoria has to offer, including an exclusive porte-cochère for residents, a fitness center, and a cinema. Perhaps the most impressive new amenity is the Starlight Pool, the transformation of the former Starlight Roof nightclub, an expansive space with 16-foot ceilings, into a dramatic, skylit pool and lounge overlooking a garden terrace.


Recreating the original interior design intent

Throughout the landmarked interior spaces—from the lobbies and the long corridors to the conference rooms and ballrooms above—many of the finishes will be refurbished to their original condition, bringing back the aura of the hotel’s storied past. All of these spaces will be unified by soft, ambient lighting—once one of the hallmarks of the interior. When the renovation is complete, the Waldorf Astoria will be at once completely new, and true to the legacy of one of New York’s finest examples of Art Deco architecture.

© Noe Associates | Boundary

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