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Henry Hardenbergh

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Henry Hardenbergh

The Waldorf-Astoria at its original location, Fifth Avenue and 34th Street. Drawing by Joseph Pennell, c. 1904-08.
The Dakota Building, so far uptown when it was built that it was said it might as well be in the Dakota Territory

Henry Janeway Hardenbergh (February 6, 1847 - March 18, 1918) was an American architect, best known for his hotels and apartment buildings.

Life and career

Hardenbergh was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey of a Dutch family, and attended the Hasbrouck Institute in Jersey City. He apprenticed in New York from 1865 to 1870 under Detlef Lienau, and, in 1870, opened his own practice there.[1]

He obtained his first contracts for three buildings at Rutgers College in New Brunswick, New Jersey—the expansion of Alexander Johnston Hall (1871), designing and building Geology Hall (1872) and the Kirkpatrick Chapel (1873)—through family connections. Hardenbergh's great-great grandfather, the Reverend Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, had been the first president of Rutgers College from 1785 to 1790, when it was still called "Queen's College".

He then got the contract to design the Vancorlear apartment building on West 55th Street in New York in 1879. The following year he was commissioned by Edward S. Clark, then head of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, to build a housing development. As part of this work, he designed the pioneering Dakota Apartments in Central Park West, novel in its location, very far north of the center of the city.

Subsequently, Hardenbergh received commissions to build the Waldorf (1893) and the adjoining Astoria (1897) hotels for William Waldorf Astor and Mrs. Astor, respectively. The two competing hotels were later joined together as the Waldorf-Astoria, which was demolished in 1929 for the construction of the Empire State Building.

Hardenbergh lived for some time in Bernardsville, New Jersey[2] and died in 1918 in New York City. He is buried in Woodland Cemetery, in Stamford, Connecticut.


Hardenbergh was elected to the American Institute of Architects in 1861, and was made a Fellow in 1877. He was president of the Architectural League of New York from 1901–02, and was an associate of the National Academy of Design. Hardenbergh was one of the founders of the American Fine Arts Society as well as the Municipal Art Society.[1]




External links

  • Henry J. Hardenbergh Architectural Database
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