Iconic Collection From Waldorf Astoria to Be Displayed at New-York Historical Society

Mar 27, 2019

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The Waldorf Astoria represents a special place in the history of New York. Over the course of almost 90 years, the venerable hotel has played host to kings and queens, presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities. Countless people have jostled for space to enjoy a drink at the Bull and Bear or brunch at Peacock Alley. Now, with the hotel undergoing an extensive renovation, the Waldorf Astoria is partnering with the New-York Historical Society to provide a temporary home for some iconic pieces that graced the hotel in past generations.

One of the most famous is the 1907 Steinway grand piano that Cole Porter, the renowned composer, kept in his apartment at the Waldorf Astoria. He composed some of his most popular songs on the piano during his time there, including “Anything Goes,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “You’re the Top” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

Photo courtesy of Ben Salesse for Noë and Associates
Photo courtesy of Ben Salesse for Noë and Associates

The World’s Fair Clock Tower, commissioned by Queen Victoria to show the friendship between the United States and England, will be on display. The collection will also include one of President John F. Kennedy’s rocking chairs from the hotel’s Presidential Suite.

Andrew Miller, the executive director of development at Anbang, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria, lauded the partnership with the New-York Historical Society:

“The New-York Historical Society is one of the finest museums in the nation, with a focus on the rich history of New York City and State, as well as their place in the world,” said Miller. “We chose to form a relationship with New-York Historical because we believe the Museum’s dedicated team of curators and professionals can best help us to further research Waldorf Astoria New York and share new and exciting stories about the hotel’s significance. Waldorf Astoria New York is far more than a building—it has been a gathering place for the world’s most interesting people for nearly 90 years—and we are excited to share its history with the world in new ways. Restoring and displaying the Cole Porter Piano, the World’s Fair Clock Tower, and the Kennedy Rocking Chair at New-York Historical will be a wonderful way for the public to engage with these pieces until they can safely return to the hotel.”

The Waldorf Astoria New York plans to reopen its doors in 2021 when it will again assume its position as the flagship property of the Waldorf Astoria chain. As part of the Hilton family, it will offer approximately 350 hotel rooms and suites to visiting dignitaries and curious travelers alike. It’s safe to bet that the Bull and Bear also will be inviting visitors to enjoy a drink on the famous mahogany bar for generations to come.

Photo courtesy of Ben Salesse for Noë and Associates
Photo courtesy of Ben Salesse for Noë and Associates

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