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"This book preview contains selected pages from Great, Grand & Famous Hotels. If you wish to purchase the book or find out more, please go to
Hotels : Sample NY
136 New York's Unofficial Palace The arrival of the triumph we know as the Waldorf=Astoria coincided with the point in history when late nineteenth century grand hotels were at their most opulent. When the first hotel was pulled down and replaced on that site by the Empire State Building, an entirely new Waldorf=Astoria was built uptown. It seems New York would always be synonomous with a Waldorf=Astoria. Th e waldorf=astoria THE ORIGINAL WALDORF William Astor took an interest in the initial stages of the creation of the Waldorf Hotel (1893), together with his financial adviser, Abner Bartlett. Their first task was to find the right person to run the hotel. Their selection was George C Boldt, known to Astor as the proprietor of the impeccably managed Hotel Bellevue in Philadelphia. Boldt accepted the position of Proprietor and General Manager, while Astor maintained ownership of the land and building. The architect was Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, one of New York's most respected specialists in large buildings. He initially attracted serious attention with his Dakota Apartments (1880--4) on Central Park West (where John Lennon was living when he was shot). His other New York hotels include the Astoria (1897); The Manhattan (1897); Hotel Martinique (1897-1911); and ultimately his great Beaux Arts masterpiece -- the Plaza -- which opened to great fanfare in 1907. The final key appointment was Oscar Tschirky as maître d'hôtel. Oscar had made a name for himself at Delmonico's, but became even more famous for his customer service at the Waldorf. Indeed, the reputations of both the hotel and Oscar himself became inextricably entwined. WALDORF MOVES TO ENGLAND In the summer of 1891, New Yorkers began to see the steel framework of the Waldorf structure rise above the skyline. With the project under way, snobbish William Waldorf Astor left New York with his family to relocate permanently in London. He had made his mark on the city of New York and, so far as Aunt Lina was concerned, the point had been made. CHAPTER 8