Right off the bat, here is the link to the “Save The Waldorf Petition“. Sign it now!
The news that the Waldorf Hotel has been sold to developers was like the second half of a one-two punch following the imminent loss of the Ridge Theatre. The only hope in this case is that the city can dictate the terms of any development much more strongly since the land is zoned for industrial, not residential. But given the city’s record in maintaining our vintage architectural and cultural features – I’m less than optimistic.
My fond memories of the Waldorf Hotel date back to the mid-1990s when I was relatively new to the city. The swing revival was, to my delight and amazement, making my favorite music and mid-century style inexplicably popular. Then I attended a Blue Lizard Lounge event at the Waldorf.
I headed downstairs and my eyes nearly popped out of my head.
Between the perfectly preserved space, swing music in the air, and everyone dressed up to the nines, it was like a time-warp trip back to the elegant nightclub scene right of the 50s. I explored glittering room after room, culminating in the legendary Tiki bar, the Waldorf’s crowning jewel of bamboo, Polynesian paintings and barstools made to look like bongo drums. I was in heaven!
I returned several times for other events, but it’s now been a long time since I was there. Still, the mere knowledge that the Tiki lounge in all its perfectly-preserved glory remained as part of a revitalized cultural hub was reassuring. I was utterly stricken to hear that it might be demolished.
Trusting the city’s treasures to developers has so far proven to be a failed strategy. I hope and pray that, in this case, wisdom had a sensitivity to the city’s unique cultural spots will prevail.