The Ghost of Glamour Past: Turn of the Century at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, in New York City

Like everyone who will see this, I was born long after the Gilded Age ended. So how is it possible that I feel so nostalgic for these days of beauty and grace? I think I must be a ghost.

Today, I have for you pictures of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City at the turn of the century. There are also a few photos from the 1910s from a Senate inquiry into the sinking of the Titanic that was held at the hotel, and a couple of photos of women with their dogs from the first meeting of the American Pomeranian Club.

All photos courtesy the Library of Congress, except where marked.

The Exterior

The beautiful Waldorf Astoria, which billed itself as the finest hotel in the world.

 

The Thirty-third street entrance

 

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The Rooms

The Waldorf Astoria had apartments. This room, with the carved mahogany canopy bed, fireplace, and lovely decor is called the Francis I bedroom.

This room is not quite so lavish as the others, though still quite beautiful. It’s labeled Room 212.

The Marie Antoinette Room. Can you imagine?

 

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The Public Areas

The Myrtle Room. I’m not sure what this was used for. I could imagine private parties, or maybe meetings?

 

The charmingly-named “Peacock Alley” was a three hundred foot long corridor connecting the Waldorf and Astoria Hotels. It gained fame in the early 1900s as the spot where the fashionable women of New York City paraded their fashions and jewelry for their peers. (Getty Images)

 

This one I find to be puzzling. It’s called the Ladies Hairdressing Room. There are three vanities for the room– not just from the angle the photographer captured, but the whole room. I’m guessing it might be a small room outside of a ballroom where women could freshen up?

Though it seems a little impractical even for then, it makes me think of how very over-crowded our cities are today.

 

 

A lavish, private dining room

The Billiard Room. Can’t you just see men with mustaches and top hats smoking cigars in here?

 

A reception room. I imagine this was used for smaller parties and events.

The Palm dining room: This room is so beautiful. Look. At. The. Chandelier.

 

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Notable People (1910s)

Senate Hearing on the Sinking of the Titanic. There is an arrow pointing to J. Bruce Ismay, the high-ranking White Star Line official. Passengers who came to testify at this hearing said they heard Ismay pressuring the ship’s captain to travel faster. Ismay, of course, was one of the lucky people to get a seat in a lifeboat.

 

“Miss M. Kennedy and Buttercup” at the American Pomeranian Club meeting

 

Mrs. George Peabody and Mauchi at the American Pomeranian Club meeting. That is a real hat Mrs. Peabody has on.

 

1 Comment

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  1. I loved looking at those old pictures. The detail and care that went into the design is simply amazing. The Palm dining room was absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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