Construction on Waldorf-Astoria Begins Next Month

NEW YORK — The historic Waldorf-Astoria hotel, which closed to guests in March, is getting a total makeover starting next month.

Anbang Insurance Group, owner of the Waldorf, and construction firm AECOM Tishman, announced the first phase of construction work to renovate and restore the historic hotel will begin in December.

Since the Waldorf Astoria New York achieved the designation as New York City’s largest private interior landmark, Anbang has made significant progress towards renovating the property. The development team has advanced design plans, secured permits and carefully moved, preserved and stored prized historic items, including the Cole Porter piano, the World’s Fair Clock Tower, the Kennedy Rocking Chair, and the MacArthur Desk. The company has now appointed AECOM Tishman to spearhead the first phase of construction.

“After months of meticulous planning and careful preparation, we are ready to begin the next phase of the renovation and have assembled an exceptional team to advance the project. We look forward to working closely with AECOM Tishman to carry out one of the most extensive restoration and renovation projects in New York City,” said Brandon Dong, Managing Director of the Waldorf Astoria New York Project of Anbang. “The Waldorf Astoria New York is truly a global icon and quintessential New York City landmark, and our combined team shares a commitment to preserving this historic property’s legacy and restoring its original beauty while elevating it to set a new standard of luxury and hospitality.”

Anbang, based in China, purchased the Waldorf Astoria in 2014 for an eye-popping $1.95 billion from Hilton Worldwide. Waldorf, a division of Hilton, will still manage the hotel when refurbished but will lose many of its hotel rooms which will become condos instead.

The new Waldorf Astoria will feature restored public and event spaces, approximately 350 new guest rooms and suites, and approximately 350 residences. The design team includes architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon (PYR).

“The Waldorf Astoria New York is where our brand’s history of timeless luxury and inspirational environments began,” said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “We have been working closely and collaboratively with Anbang on the renovation of the Waldorf Astoria New York and we are confident that the restoration will ensure that the hotel retains its rightful place as a focal point for New York City and a premier destination for the world.”

“It is an honor for us to join a world-class project team assembled for the renovation of the Waldorf Astoria New York,” said Jay Badame, President of AECOM Building Construction and AECOM Tishman. “We fully understand the significance of this massive undertaking and the importance this landmark holds for so many people in New York and around the world, and we look forward to working with the full team to bring this vision to life.”

Waldorf Astoria New York timeline:

  • 1893: Hotel opened on the present site of the Empire State Building
  • 1931: Opened at its current Park Avenue location
  • 1993: Designated an official New York City exterior landmark
  • 2014: Anbang Insurance Group acquired the property from Hilton Worldwide. Hilton agrees to continue to manage the property under a 100-year management agreement.
  • 2017: Numerous interior spaces within the hotel are designated as New York City landmarks, including the hotel’s historic Grand Ballroom and iconic Park Avenue Lobby.

 

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