New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria hotel auctions off 80,000 items before complete renovation

NEW YORK / CNN — Since it opened in 1931, the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York has been frequented by society’s elite: politicians, actors and even royalty.

Dubbed the “unofficial palace,” the Waldorf has hosted the likes of Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and every US president from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. 

Now, the historic hotel on Park Avenue is auctioning off 80,000 of its most timeless furnishings ahead of a complete renovation, according to a news release from Kaminski Auctions, which is hosting the sale.

Of the total, 15,000 are part of a package of several items that must be purchased together, Kamsinki spokeswoman Ashton McLeod said.

“Many of the pieces for auction have been a witness to history, and we are excited to see them find new life in the homes of avid collectors,” said Andrew Miller, CEO of Dajia US, the owner and developer of Waldorf Astoria New York.

The furnishings include bespoke chandeliers, a Steinway grand piano and Charles X-style benches.

Online bidding and personal viewings of the items at Silver City Galleria Mall in Massachusetts, where they’re being held, started Saturday. A two-week live and Covid-safe auction is scheduled to start October 17. The auction is set to end November 15.

All proceeds from the auction will go to the St. Bartholomew’s Conservancy to help restore the exteriors and gardens of St. Bartholomew’s Church and Community House, located across the street from the hotel, according to the news release.

The hotel is expected to reopen in two to three years and will include 375 condominium residences and 375 rooms.

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