New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Waldorf Astoria Clock

There is nothing that quite epitomizes the luxurious, elegant, classic, iconic New York like the main lobby of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It's a study in comfort with soft lighting from table lamps, dark wood, potted palms, sumptuous seating - I could sit in those beautiful Art Deco chairs for hours watching the ebb and flow of people. A visitor feels like they have sneaked into the world of the privileged - and in a way they have. Dominating this lobby is the famed ornately carved bronze Waldorf Astoria clock, set on an octagonal base made from marble and mahogany and topped with a Statue of Liberty. It is well known enough to have become a meeting place, much like the clock in Grand Central Station (click here). A small plaque below the clock reads:
"The Waldorf Astoria Clock was executed by the Goldsmith Company of London for exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. It was purchased by the Waldorf Astoria and was the focal point outside the Rose Room of the original hotel at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. This clock weighs approximately two tons and stands nine feet tall. Around the eight sides of the base are likenesses of Cleveland, Harrison, Washington, Grant, Lincoln, Franklin, Jackson and Queen Victoria. Under these are bronze plaques depicting various sports and scenes. Westminster chimes ring on the quarter hour."

There is a feeling of safety and stability here - the lobby is deep in the center of the city block edifice and the place just feels like it's been there forever and will go on unfettered by the changing times ...


Prokur said...

Elite.. :)
Brian, are you related somehow to this priveleged world?
Or you visit this place as photographer? :)

Heidi said...

I like this shot and your commentary... solid... stability... the gentleman in the chair at the right of the photo adds some charm, too. Nice.

Brian said...

Actually, there is a lot of traffic in the hotel, so it's not really a problem going in as a visitor/tourist. Also, we found many years ago that good deals can be had for the Waldorf (online and otherwise) so my family occasionally stays there when visiting the city.

Hels said...

This lovely clock was left to the entire nation, via the World Exhibition. So how was it made available to be purchased by the Waldorf Astoria, a private concern rather than a public one.

Brian Dubé said...

I don't believe that World's Fairs are strictly government run endeavors. "Many prominent civic, professional, and commercial leaders from around the United States participated in the financing, coordination, and management of the Fair, including Chicago shoe tycoon Charles Schwab, Chicago railroad and manufacturing magnate John Whitfield Bunn, and Connecticut banking, insurance, and iron products magnate Milo Barnum Richardson, among many others."
In any case, the Waldorf purchased it. The exact details would require some research.

Waldorf hotel London said...

The clock is amazing. I'm actually happy Astoria own it. They take care over it :)