Excerpt from Business Insider
New York City's Waldorf Astoria is one of the most legendary hotels in the world.
Its suites have hosted every US president since Herbert Hoover, and Hollywood legends Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Frank Sinatra have all at different times called the residential towers home. Countless lavish social events were held in its ballrooms, and its kitchens were the birthplace of red velvet cupcakes and the Waldorf salad.
Last year the hotel celebrated its 85th anniversary, but it will close for at least two years for renovations on February 28.
Since 2014, when the property was bought from Hilton Worldwide by the Chinese insurance company Anbang for $1.95 billion, plans for a major overhaul have been on the horizon. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission is working to preserve parts of the interior, and Anbang has agreed to comply, Bloomberg reported in September. Though there are no blueprints to see yet, Anbang is reportedly planning to change most of the rooms into condominiums.
Business Insider recently visited both the hotel and the towers to talk to four employees and hear their firsthand accounts of over 100 years of combined experience there