All Eyes on Waldorf Astoria Transformation

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This just-released image shows the design for the transformed entrance.

New York City’s Art Deco institution—the Waldorf Astoria—has closed its doors for a three-year transformation, expected to cost $1 billion.

“The Waldorf Astoria New York is where our brand’s story began. Restoring this hotel to its place as the most luxurious hotel in New York is a key priority for the Waldorf Astoria brand,” says John Vanderslice, global head of the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.

The 13-story Waldorf Hotel was first opened in 1931 by William Waldorf Astory on the site of his former mansion on 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue. Since then, the Waldorf Astoria has hosted every U.S. president and been home to the rich and famous, from Frank Sinatra to the Duke of Windsor.

Architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Paris–based interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon are working closely with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on what is being touted as one of the most intensive landmark preservation efforts in New York City history. The Waldorf’s exterior was landmarked in 1993 and now, in conjunction with the renovation, several interior spaces (including the lobby and the Park Avenue
foyer) have also been designated official city landmarks.

When the Waldorf reopens, three-quarters of its 1,413 rooms will be luxury condominiums, with the remaining 300-500 hotel suites to be operated by Hilton, which has a 100-year management agreement with the iconic property.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.