As 6sqft recently reported, ownership of the iconic Waldorf Astoria was among the properties involved when the Chinese government temporarily took over the debt-ridden Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, a firm known for snatching up prominent and expensive properties around the world. There has long been speculation about a condominium project in the works, and Bloomberg reports that the project is moving forward. Signs of change: Effects from the building’s guest suites have been carted off by Scranton, Pennsylvania-based architectural salvage purveyor Olde Good Things, who is already is selling pieces of the storied hotel on its website.
Salvaged items up for sale include light fixtures fashioned from Venetian glass and French crystal, along with more than 40 marble mantels carved in a variety of styles, including a Louis XV rococo piece (image above) listed for $14,000.
The priciest Waldorf item currently on the Olde Good Things website: A four-foot-wide Barovier & Toso hand-blown-glass fixture, shown above, from one of the hotel’s conference rooms could be yours for $28,000.
More affordable items include steak knives ($25 each), silver-plated doorbells ($45) and towel racks ($250).
Anbang bought the famed Art Deco hotel in February of 2015 for $1.95 billion, a record sum for a single U.S. hotel. Last week, the Chinese government announced a year-long ownership period during which it would consider “all or partial” sales of the company’s assets. Anbang will be overseen for one year by a group that includes China’s central bank, the country’s securities and banking regulator, the regular of foreign exchanges and other government agencies. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., which holds a long-term management contract with the Waldorf, and construction firm AECOM Tishman issued statements saying that work on the condo conversion was indeed underway.
The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission voted in March of 2017 to protect a number of the Waldorf’s public spaces like the hotel’s grand ballroom, a large floor mosaic by the French artist Louis Rigal that adorns an entry hall and the entire main lobby bedecked in black marble pillars and ceiling reliefs.
Shortly after the landmark designation went into effect, trucks owned by Olde Good Things began loading out items from guest rooms, according to members of the nonprofit Art Deco Society which has been tracking the project.
Olde Good Things has arrived to rescue interior effects at several New York City landmarks, including the Plaza Hotel, John F. Kennedy International Airport and the old New York Times headquarters. The salvage outfit is also known for being owned by the Church of Bible Understanding (COBU). The group says it uses profits from the salvage business to fund an orphanage in Haiti.
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- Take a virtual tour of the Waldorf Astoria’s freshly landmarked interiors
Neighborhoods : Midtown East