Waldorf Astoria interiors given landmark status by preservation commission

While the top floors of the Waldorf Astoria are getting a makeover, its iconic lobby and ballrooms are going to remain untouched permanently.

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to designate the Park Avenue hotel’s interiors on the first three floors as landmarks. Under this distinction, elements of those areas, such as the 13 murals in the entrance hall, the floor mosaic, metal elevator doors and the Grand Ballroom, are protected from any changes by future owners.

The hotel closed last week for a two-year renovation that will convert the majority of the hotel rooms into condos.

“It’s really wonderful that this designation will preserve a large number of sections,” Commission chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said before the vote.

The hotel’s exterior was landmarked in 1993. Elected officials and community leaders urged the city to get the interior landmarked following last year’s announcement of the conversion by the hotel’s owners, the Chinese-based Anbang Insurance Group.

The company said they too wanted the sections protected.

“These designations are consistent with our vision and we look forward to presenting our plans for restoring these historic public and event spaces in the coming weeks,” it said in a statement.