Manhattan User’s Guide has an interesting snippet of history about how the Waldorf=Astoria came to be – it was all down to a family feud between two cousins.
Mrs Astor’s nephew disliked her intensely, so much so that he built a hotel (the original Waldorf, on the site of the Empire State Building) that overlooked her property. She moved away. Then her son, John Jacob Astor IV decided he wanted in on the obviously profitable hotel business, so he build a second hotel adjacent to the Waldorf, on the land that used to be his mother’s.
They decided it would be stupid not to link the two hotels, but had an agreement built into the contract that there had to be a 30″ gap between the two buildings, so they could be divided if relations soured further.
The Waldorf=Astoria name signifies that both properties are equal.
The hotel later moved to a bigger site uptown.
Read the full article on Manhattan User’s Guide
Has anyone ever done a history of iconic hotels? It must be a history riddled with feuds, scandal, financial woes and even bodies – think Chateau Marmont in LA, Chelsea Hotel in NYC, Paris Ritz etc.