The Salt Lake Tribune from Salt Lake City, Utah on January 26, 1958 · Page 2
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The Salt Lake Tribune from Salt Lake City, Utah · Page 2

Salt Lake City, Utah
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 26, 1958
Page 2
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i A Celebrity Castle-Tribune Exclusive Anger, Spite Tint History of Waldorf Tfc« Sttt Life Trlbwie, Swdiy, JiBntry W, 1*58 Continued from €}£ all the Russians, was assas- ainated and It was the year in which President James A. Garfield was shot. It was not a promising day for politics, but Wealthy Willie, as the press called him, decided to run anyway. He was a Republican running In K silk stocking Republican district. He had the blessing of Jake Hess, the Republican leader, and Willie poured a lot of Astor money into the campaign because he wanted to win nand- «omely. He was trounced. William Waldorf Astor became' indignant. He remained that way for the next nine years. The newspapers made fun of him. Eccentrics wrote letters to him, threatening to kidnap his children. In 1890, he and his family left these shores permanently. Wealthy Willie moved to England, became a British citizen, *h'd'"'llved to become Viscount Astor. In time, his son Waldorf married Nancy Langhorne of Virginia and she became Lady Astor who, by some infusion of Astoritis, became a caustic critic of America. Before Wealthy Willie left the United States, he decided to revenge himself on his aunt, his :ousin, the Republican Party and the entire neighborhood of plush mansions. He was going to build a hotel on Fifth Avenue. His mansion was only 2* years old. But, like ancient Jerusalem, it came down stone by stone by ;tone until there was a hole in the ground. Then he built a fat nine-story hotel on it and called it The Waldorf. Mr. Willie was angry, but not angry enough to hurt himself economically. If he was going to cheapen the neighborhood by building a hotel, it would have to be profitable. So he got a. little man named George Boldt to manage it. Mr. Boldt was a man over five feet tall. He had an accent like Lew Weber. He also had a gray mustache, a spade beard, and a courtly manner. Mr. Boldt was so proper that he wouldn't even glance at himself in underwear. The hotel was not yet open when a young; waiter from the Hoffmann House applied for the job of maitre d'hotel. His name wan Ow-ar Tschirky. No one could uy it so he became Oscar of the Waldorf. He was a Swiss immigrant and he had served, and pleased, the big politicans, Diamond Jim Tmt?el Costume Slim sheath tvith boxy chemise back jacket Fashioned of beautiful cracked wheat bouclt (rayon and orlon). Three-quarter sleeve, linen over collar. Colors, brown, blue, black. Sizes 12 to 18. Dresses — Both Stores Brady, judges, even Lillian Russell. The Waldorf appeared, on opening day, to be headed lor failure. The rich seethed at mention of the name because they regarded the hotel as * personal affront to a good neighborhood: Traveling men were not interested in the Waldorf because it was too expensive and too far uptown. In 1893, families dined at home and so the restaurant side of the hotel business was small. Still, George Boldt and Oscar had Ihe maids, the hell- hoys, the .waiters and the bartenders standing to attention, ready to show the customers more service than they had ever seen. History shows that big events often hinge on small decisions. Boldt made one. He opened the hotel for a concert to be staged for the benefit of a children's hospital. The hospital— St. Mary's—was the pet charity of the leading society women of New York. When Walter Damrosch lifted his baton for attention in the ballroom, the assemblage was a smashing ar ray of the finest families in the East. There were Biddies and Van derbilts and Lippincotts and Drexels- and Lowells and Peabodys and Fishes and Mor gans and Palmers. Each person had to pay $5 for the concert and supper. It was considered daring, and slightly vulgar, foi ladies to be in a hotel, even with their husbands. They ate terra pin and oysters and orange glace and they stayed to look at the beautifully furnished rooms on the main floor. Upstairs were 450 rooms and 360 baths. The bar, which hardly got a quick peek from the women was four-sided and staffed by four bartenders. There was a game room for card players and there was rich dark mahogany furniture and blinding chande liers and a room called the Em pire which was a replica of one in a palace in Munich. JDscar gave everyone his brand of personalized service. His fingers snapped for waiters to. bring a special sauce for a speciat;;$lish; he bowed; he suggested; he was properly overwhelmed when the guests complimented him. The Waldorf was made that night. It became the second home of the rich and the famous. Everything in the place cost more than anywhere else, but this not only insured excellence of quality, but it also kept the common out. Boldt gave gifts of champagne and cigars to guests; he sent baskets of fruit to steamers; he installed room service, although he regarded this as an old-world institution. The entire front of the Palm Gardens was macte of glass and Oscar would not permit a man in this room unless he wore tails. Boldt put an orchestra anri Original Waldorf Hotel, left, at ttrd Street and 5th Avenue, was built by William Wal- Tyrolean yodelers in the hotel. He hired silk pantalooned Turks to serve demi-tasse to the women. A little later, he started a public scandal by ordering all male employes to b« clean shaven or be fired. After that, the honor of the chin declined everywhere. If anything, the Waldorf was a rich club, a great success. Between i the Empire Room and the Palm Room was a long corridor. Through this hall the society ladies in bustles and corsets pai-aded their finery, escorted by their gentlemen. A newspaper reporter referred to it as a sort of Peacock Alley. After that, the promenade was never called anything else. On the corner o£ 34th and Fifth, cousin John Jacob Astor swore that, to even the score with his cousin, he would build the biggest stable ever seen in New York. George Boldt heard about it and paid a call on Mr. Astor. Mr. Astor roared. Mr. dorf Astor. At right is Waldorf Astoria built by William and by John Jacob Astor. Calls Off Klau Rally BURLINGTON, N.C., Jan. 25 UP) — The Rev.. James Cole, leader of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan, early Saturday night called off a scheduled rally near here. Cole said by telephone from his home at Marion, S.C., that the open field on which the meefing was to be held had been determined too muddy from daylong rains. AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION SPECIALISTS FACTORY TRAINED & APPROVED ' ALL MAKES-MODELS RALPH "FLASH" GORDON, MCR. FRANK STEPHAN ROB N1ELSON — LEO NOORUA GAIL F. BYWATER AUTOMOTIVE TKHNICIANS 4th South and State DA 2-3547 GIMIANHCA WOUK §Y CIRTIFJIO MKHANICS HORSEPOWER IS OUR BUSINESS FINAL WEEK OF WESTERN FURNITURE'S Boldt listened. Mr. Astor sided. Mr. Boldt talked. sub- In 1895, the John Jacob Astor mansion began to come down. In its place, a big hotel was built, bigger than Wealthy Willie's by four stories, and wider. It was to be called the Astoria, named after the Astor family fur trading post in Ore-' gon. Boldt did an unusual thing. He brought Wealthy Willie and John Jacob together economically. John was bitter and he insisted that, if the two hotels were to be administered together, and if they were to be connected by stone corridors, this was agfeeable to him provided that, should he disagree with Willie again, his hotel could 1 be sealed off by a brick wall from his cousin'.?, It was so written In the agreement Thus the Waldorf - Astoria came into being and, almost overnight, it was called the Hyphen 'Hotel. The success of the Waldorf was doubled and redoubled with the addition of the Astoria. (Mondny: Bo nurf to nod at O»cnr as you rn(«r.) Are You Planning To Doctor-Up Your Home? 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