Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Seeking Permission for Face-Lift

By Jill Colvin on September 6, 2011 12:25pm 

Owners want to redesign the overhang that frames the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel.
Owners want to redesign the overhang that frames the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel.
View Full Caption
Flickr/Chris Breeze

MIDTOWN — The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel wants a face-lift.

Managers of the iconic hotel are set to appear before the Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday afternoon to ask for a makeover that would alter the look of the Art Deco-style skyscraper, whose façade has long been one of the most recognizable in New York.

The redesign calls for a new canopy along the building’s Park Avenue entrance that would emphasize its unique three-portal design.

Instead of a single canopy anchored by four tie-backs, the proposed design features three separate overhangs made of metal and glass, connected by panels of glass to keep the sidewalk dry, according to renderings presented by architects from BBG-BBGM to Midtown’s Community Board 5 last week.

The new design, which also includes modern, recessed lighting, is intended to focus attention on the landmarked building’s Indiana Limestone façade instead of the canopy, Marie-Paule Petitjean, a partner at BBG-BBGM, told the board’s Landmarks Committee, which was give a chance to weigh in ahead of Tuesday's vote.

The Waldorf did not have a canopy when it was first built, raising some concerns among board members who questioned the need.

“I struggled with this for a while,” said board member Ina Clark, who eventually voted in favor of the plan after concluding that BBG-BBGM’s vision was “the best possible” option.

Others noted the canopy can always be removed.

In addition to the façade plan, the hotel is also seeking permission to redesign its ground-level parking garage, including moving around parking spots and adding a new pedestrian lane so that people can cross under the hotel.

“It right now looks like a service entrance,” said Petitjean, adding, “It’s never going to be Park Avenue, but we want to make it look like they’re entering the Waldorf-Astoria.”

Board members applauded the driveway redesign, which would require several changes to the building's exterior including adding a new door on East 49th Street.

“It’s a vast improvement from what’s there,” said committee member Edward Klimerman, ahead of the committee's unanimous vote.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is set to weigh in on the plan at around 2:30 p.m. in the Conference Room on the 9th Floor at 1 Centre Street.

Neighborhood Sponsors

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement