The Waldorf-Astoria is Really Two New York City Hotels

By: John Articles

The Waldorf-Astoria is influential enough that a salad, the Waldorf, is named after it, an honor none of the other New York City hotels can claim. It's also famous for being one of the first hotels to allow women to stay in a room without an escort, something not common in the late 1800s, when the hotel was first opened. A look at its history will help to show the dual nature of the Waldorf-Astoria.

A Family Disagreement

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.

Two Locations

As mentioned, the original sight of the Waldorf-Astoria is not the current location, which is on Park Avenue, built in 1931. The original hotel was torn down in order to make room for the Empire State building, destined to be the world's largest building for many years. The new Waldorf-Astoria quickly reestablished itself as one of the leading New York City hotels, built in art-deco style and boasting the honor of the world's tallest hotel at the time.

And in a return to a dual nature, the new Waldorf-Astoria is once more two New York City hotels in one location, with the Waldorf Towers, billed as a luxury hotel for the discerning traveler, taking up the top floors of the new Waldorf-Astoria. As a final expression of the duality of the Waldorf-Astoria hotels, the chain itself often expresses its name with a double hyphen rather than a single in order to celebrate it's history as coming from two New York city hotels in one. Truly, the Waldorf-Astoria is a pair of hotels with history.

Copyright ? John Hanna All Rights Reserved.

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