Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Seeking Permission for Face-Lift
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.