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Hotel Facts/History

Hotel History

March 13, 1893 Millionaire William Waldorf Astor opened the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site of his mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street. Henry Hardenbergh was the architect.

November 1, 1897 Four years later, The Waldorf was joined by the 17-story Astoria Hotel, erected on an adjacent site by Waldorf's cousin, John Jacob Astor IV.

John Jacob Astor IV died on the Titanic on April 15, 1912 and William Waldorf Astor died on 18 October 1919 after relocating long ago to England back in 1893.

May 3, 1929 Closing of the first Waldorf-Astoria. While the original was the arguably the grandest hotel in the world in the late 1890's, in the 1920's, with so many new technological advances being adopted, it was becoming dated. Prohibition drained down the revenues of the hotel, and the action in New York had moved further uptown. The decision was made to sell the site to the developers of what would become the Empire State Building and to tear down the hotel in 1929.

October 29, 1929 Financing for a new Waldorf Astoria is approved, one day before Black Tuesday.

October 1, 1931 The second Waldorf-Astoria hotel opened in its current location on Park Avenue as the tallest and largest hotel in the world. Its rooms were distinguished by their spaciousness - a quality that characterizes the entire hotel.

October 1, 1931 President Herbert Hoover, in a broadcast radio address from The White House, saluted the new hotel and its builders in a message broadcast over world-wide NBC network: "The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality...marks the measure of nation's growth in power, in comfort and in exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation..."

1945 Weekend at The Waldorf - First major motion picture filmed entirely in a hotel and outside of Hollywood's studios, featuring Ginger Rogers.

October 12, 1949 Conrad Hilton acquires management rights to the Waldorf-Astoria.

1972 Hilton Hotel Corporation purchases The Waldorf Astoria.

1993 The Waldorf Astoria became an official New York City landmark.

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