This is a celebrity biography about a great hotel -- in fact, for millions of people across the land and countless more around the world, it is America's most famous hotel. Now approaching its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2006 on its Park Avenue site, The Waldorf-Astoria has been home to kings, magnates, presidents and many of the greatest cultural talents of the Twentieth Century. General Douglas MacArthur chose to retire in the Waldorf Towers; Cole Porter lived in suite 33A for many years, which Frank Sinatra paid one million dollars a year to live in after Porter died. "The grand cities of the world have their grand hotels, the bed-and-breakfasts for the mighty and the moneyed. Ward Morehouse III explores one of New York City's grandest in The Waldorf-Asrtoria: America's Gilded Dream ... Morehouse writes of pleasures and scandals, of the hard facts of running a hotel and of its romance. The hotel comes off well in the hands of its appreciative Boswell and one will find "The Waldorf-Astoria" to be a pleasant buffet." - The New York Times, Sunday Book Review Section
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Famed columnist, author and playwright Ward Morehouse III was a staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor for 10 years and a Broadway columnist for the New York Post for five years. His "Broadway After Dark" column appeared in the New York Sun for two years, and now in AM New York. He is the author of Inside the Plaza: An Intimate Portrait of the Ultimate Hotel and two other books.From Publishers Weekly:
Morehouse tours readers through a Manhattan landmark in this chatty, disorganized but engaging book. A former cultural correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor , the author serves up a mix of fact and gossip, based in part on personal knowledge of the opulent inn. Built in 1893 by William Waldorf Astor, the hotel was moved in 1930 from downtown Fifth Avenue to occupy an entire block on Park Avenue at 50th Street, where it has flourished for the intervening 60 years. Morehouse offers information on such recent developments as the acquisition of the hotel by the Hilton family. Most intriguing, though, are anecdotes about the notable residents in the Waldorf Towers aerie: the duke and duchess of Windsor (she was rude); Sinatra (he pays $1 million annually for a suite once home to Cole Porter); late society hostess Elsa Maxwell; Gen. and Mrs. Douglas MacArthur; U.S. presidents et al. Just as engrossing are mini-bios of the executives responsible for the hotel's great reputation through the years: Astor's first partner, George Boldt, a master hotelier from Germany; banquet host Oscar of the Waldorf; and events organizer Claude Philippe. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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