The Waldorf-Astoria hotel is one of the most famous New York City hotels. It has a fascinating history, which starts with a family feud, and goes on to tell the story of one of the most successful hotels in the world. The Waldorf salad takes its name from the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, and the hotel claims many other honors and firsts too – for example, it was one of the first hotels to allow women to stay in it without an escort.
A Family Feud
The original Waldorf hotel was built on the same site where the Empire State Building is today. In part because of an argument with his aunt, William Waldorf Astor built this hotel on the site of his father’s mansion, which was conveniently located right next to his aunt’s home. This, of course, further annoyed his aunt, and the problem wasn’t solved until her son, John Jacob Astor IV, persuaded her to move away and used the site of her home to build his own hotel, the Astor Hotel. Both hotels were built with the input from George Boldt, who envisioned that these two New York City hotels would be joined. Connected by something which would be called Peacock Alley, the combined Waldorf-Astoria was the largest hotel of its time.
The Empire State Building
The original hotel was torn down to make way for the Empire State building, and the hotel moved to its current location, which is on Park Avenue, in 1931. The new Waldorf-Astoria quickly became one of the leading New York City hotels – the art deco style appealed to many, and at its construction, the Waldorf-Astoria was the tallest hotel in the world.
The Waldorf-Astoria currently boasts the Waldorf Towers, a luxury hotel for the discerning traveler, which is situated on the top floors of the new building. The Waldorf-Astoria sometimes express their name with a dual hyphen, to emphasize and celebrate the history of the hotel and the family.