The Waldorf Astoria New York wants to hear your stories

WT Writer
Sep 30, 2021

Open call to the public to submit personal stories, with the best awarded one of the first opportunities to stay at the Waldorf Astoria New York when it reopens in 2023

Waldorf Astoria New York has launched Waldorf Stories, a brand-new website that will honour, document, and preserve the oral history of the world’s most famous hotel through stories told by the people that lived them—the guests, visitors, and staff who have experienced special moments at the legendary building on Park Avenue. Waldorf Stories is an open call to the public to submit their personal memories to waldorfstories.com, where select stories will be featured for the world to see and appreciate. A winning entry will be chosen and awarded the grand prize: a ‘Weekend at the Waldorf for two’: an opportunity to be one of the first guests to stay at the hotel when it reopens in 2023, including a VIP stay at the hotel with specially curated experiences.

Waldorf Stories is a celebration of the property’s 90th Anniversary on Park Avenue, which is commemorated on October 1, the date the Waldorf Astoria opened in 1931. With Waldorf Stories, the public is invited to submit their stories through a variety of mediums on the website, including uploading videos, photographs, written testimonials, and scanned memorabilia. Entries from around the world are welcome and individuals are encouraged to share special memories, life events, and indelible moments that took place at the hotel.

The Waldorf Astoria has been a beacon of timeless glamour and a cultural touchstone throughout its decades in New York City—home to Hollywood’s elite, host to countless world leaders including every U.S. President from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama, and the site of famed cultural events and galas. An integral part of Waldorf Stories will be capturing memories ranging from everyday meetings to decade-defining events.

At launch, the Waldorf Stories website will feature a selection of carefully curated stories from individuals including Hughie Weir, the hotel’s events director from the 1950s through the 1980s, who knew everyone from Cole Porter to Elsa Maxwell, and John Clark, who purchased the Cole Porter suite dining table at auction to honour his own family’s long history of celebrating holidays at the hotel.

When it opened in 1931, the Waldorf Astoria was the largest and tallest hotel in the world—built during the Great Depression in only a year. It became known as the “unofficial palace of New York” and set an architectural benchmark with its Art Deco design. On the opening day, President Hoover delivered a congratulatory message from the Cabinet Room of the White House via live radio, saying, “the opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality…marks the measure of a nation’s growth in power, in comfort, and in artistry…an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation.”

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