The world’s most iconic hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria, thanks to the Chinese is being turned into a Condo/Hotel.Their are 1,413 hotel rooms and all but 300 to 500 as the rest get turned into luxury condominiums. For the next three years the hotel will be under renovation.
Muhammad Ali, Liv Ullmann, Elizabeth Taylor, Edward G. Robinson, Gregory Peck, Ray Bolger, John Wayne, Tony Bennett, Jack Benny, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Muhammad Ali, Vince Lombardi, Sonny Werblin, Greer Garson, Harold Lloyd, Liberace, Burt Reynolds, Robert Montgomery, Cesar Romero, Dinah Shore, Gregory Peck, John F. Kennedy, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, every president since Herbert Hoover stayed here. Cole Porter and Linda Lee Thomas had an apartment in the Waldorf Towers, where Thomas died in 1954. Porter’s 1934 song “You’re the Top”, contains the lyric, “You’re the top, you’re a Waldorf salad”. The Cole Porter Suite, Suite 33A, was the place where Porter lived and entertained for a period. Frank Sinatra paid nearly $1 million a year to keep it as his personal suite at the hotel between 1979 and 1988. Ava Gabor married Conrad Hilton here in 1941. Grace Kelly and Rainier III were regular guests at the hotel. At one time Kelly was reputed to be in love with the hotel banquet manager of the Waldorf, Claudius Charles Philippe. Elizabeth Taylor
Several films were shot here including Coming to America and the Tango scene in Scent of a Woman.
The Anbang Insurance Group Co, a Chinese company bought it for a record $1.95 billion in 2014, the highest ever for a US hotel. The hotel makeover will cost Anbang over $1 billion, including over $100 million in severance packages for the hotel’s 1,500 staff.
In seeing this legendary building go the way of “progress” we lose another piece of our history.