Finally, details of the mysterious renovations that will shut down the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for at least two years have been revealed.
Renderings of the refurbished lobby, the facade and key interior spaces were unveiled Wednesday. They show a faithfulness to the historical original design and art deco style that defined the landmark hotel when it opened in 1931 at its current location on Park Avenue. (It originally opened in 1893 where the Empire State Building is today).
The renovations are expected to be one of the most complex and intensive landmark preservations efforts in New York history. Insiders told Metro that the plumbing will be a particularly complicated task, as the pipes are old and there are few existing plumbing schematics from the original construction.
The renovation project is expected to sapn two to three years.
Architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill will collaborate with interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon on the plans.
“Protecting the spirit of this iconic property and reflecting its history through a modern, more forward-thinking lens will be at the heart of the hotel’s interior design," Rochon told Arch, an architecture website.
The public release of the images coincides with the submission or plans to the city’s Department of Landmarks Preservation Commission by the hotel’s new owners, the Chinese financial group Anbang. The plans must undergo city and public review before permits for the construction will be issued.
Every elected president with the exception of Barack Obama has stayed at the hotel. It officially closed on Feb. 28 to begin the process of converting hundreds of its 1,400 guest rooms into residences.