Waldorf Astoria releases $1 billion-range renovation renderings

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Waldorf Astoria New York has released proposed plans for the restoration and revitalization of the historic property’s landmarked exterior and interior spaces. The plans, which were prepared by a design team including architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon (PYR), were submitted on March 29 for public review by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. The plans restore all landmarked spaces, ensuring the historic public and event spaces will be accessible for generations of New Yorkers and visitors alike, the hotel says in a news release.

Earlier published reports indicate that the renovation, which could last for up to three years and is expected to come at a cost of nearly $1 billion, will transform about 1,100 of the hotel’s rooms into private apartments, with the remaining 300 to 500 rooms upgraded to luxury suites.

lexington waldorf astoria
The hotel’s Lexington entry

This restoration is among the most complex and intensive landmark preservation efforts in New York City history. If approved, it will revive key elements of the Art Deco masterpiece that have been altered over time, providing an experience that reflects the hotel’s original intent while delivering what the hotel says will be an enhanced visitor experience by modernizing the building’s functional capability to a 21st century luxury standard.

The hotel will continue to be operated by Hilton as part of a 100-year management agreement.

lobby rendering waldorf astoria
Rendering of the new hotel lobby

 

SOM will lead the architectural design team. The New York-based architecture firm has overseen restoration and adaptive reuse projects for several New York City landmarks, including Moynihan Train Hall, the General Electric Building headquarters and Lever House.

“Our design for the Waldorf Astoria New York reclaims the full potential of one of New York City’s most legendary buildings and opens a new chapter in the hotel’s celebrated history. The Waldorf Astoria has been an audacious civic icon since it first opened in 1931, and we are honored to be leading the effort to restore this Art Deco masterpiece, while turning it into a world-class destination for the 21st century,” SOM design partner Roger Duffy said in  a statement.

Originally opened in 1893 on the present site of the Empire State Building, the Waldorf Astoria New York opened at its current Park Avenue location in 1931, was designated an official New York City landmark in 1993 and had its most important interior spaces landmarked in 2017.