Excerpt from Curbed
The Waldorf Astoria Hotel’s conversion into several hundred condos and fewer hotel rooms will officially move forward now that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has given the project its stamp of approval. On Tuesday evening, in a meeting that stretched well beyond the Commission’s normal schedule, the LPC unanimously approved the conversion, which will shutter the hotel for three years.
Big-name projects coming before the Landmarks Commission can often become contentious affairs, but this was one of the rare instances where it was all pretty much smooth sailing. That was in large part because developer Anbang Insurance agreed to work with the Commission on the conversion, and were also supportive of the efforts to landmark sections of the Art Deco gem’s interiors.
That feat was accomplished early last month when the Commission voted in just a matter of minutes to landmark several interior portions of the hotel including Peacock Alley, the Grand Ballroom, and the Park Avenue lobby.
Tuesday’s presentation was led by Frank Mahan, an associate director at Skimore, Owings & Merrill, the firm leading the conversion. The massive 239-page presentation [PDF!] last over two hours, but was commended by the LPC and people who gave testimony at the meeting for its level of detail and the amount of elements it was incorporating from the original design of the hotel.
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