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The renovation of the Waldorf Astoria New York is one of the world's most anticipated hospitality events. But it's not the only thing to get a refresh. The iconic 1893 World Exposition Clock (commonly known as World's Fair Clock) that adorned the lobby for over one hundred years was also restored to it's turn-of-the-century glory. And to show it off while the legendary hotel is under construction, the clock is set to temporarily move to New-York Historical Society so fans can still catch a glimpse of history.
Queen Victoria commissioned The Goldsmiths' and Silversmiths' Company of London to create the incredible timepiece to showcase English craftsmanship at the Chicago World's Fair. It was shaped like an octagon and made from American walnut and decorated with bronze panels showing off sports and the Brooklyn Bridge. Additional portraits display American figures like George Washington along with, of course, Queen Victoria. The four faces originally showed the time in New York, Madrid, Paris, and Greenwich, England.
John Jacob Astor IV bought it and brought it to the original Waldorf-Astoria on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street before being moved to the hotel's new and most recent location on Park Avenue. And there it stayed from 1931 until the property closed for renovations.
Once the hotel shut its doors for the transformation, they also decided to restore the clock to its original grandeur. Experts at Stair Galleries, overseen by the Building Conservation Associates, researched the materials to ensure it was authentic while About Time updated the components and chimes. But while it waits to be put back on display in the lobby, the clock will be on view at New-York Historical Society starting November 20, along with other hotel relics like the John F. Kennedy Rocking Chair.
"We assembled a best-in-class team of preservationists to oversee the restoration of Waldorf Astoria New York and its historic objects," Andrew Miller, CEO of Dajia US, owner and developer of Waldorf Astoria New York, told Departures in a statement. "The World's Fair Clock, now beautifully restored, has offered New Yorkers the time and an iconic place to meet for over a century."