1893 if you count the original hotel, which was opened by William Waldorf Astor on Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street and later demolished; the Empire State Building took its spot in 1929.
Why it's famous:
When the current Waldorf-Astoria moved into its Park Avenue home in 1931, it was the world's tallest hotel; though it no longer lays claim to the title
, the hotel was registered as a NYC landmark in 1993. Also, the WA's long been a favorite of America's power players: every president has stayed there, from Hoover to Obama, and its Presidential Suite boasts bulletproof windows. And speaking of presidents and beds, in 1955 Marilyn Monroe paid $1K a week to live in one of the hotel's suites.
Most New Yorkers know about the salad named after the hotel, but few know about the "secret" train platform underneath the hotel; Track 61
was used by high-security guests such as FDR. While the platform no longer operates and remains out of bounds to the public, it has
been opened under special circumstances (Andy Warhol held an exhibit there in 1965).