Manhattan: Midtown South/
350 Fifth Ave.
Two feuding branches of the Astor family played a spiteful game of one-upmanship here in the 1890s. William Waldorf Astor built the Waldorf Hotel on the south side of the block in 1893. Four years later the building shared the blockfront with the slightly taller Astoria, built by his cousin and former next-door neighbor John Jacob Astor IV. Although the hotels merged operations, the Astors retained the ability to seal off connections between the buildings in case of dispute. The buildings were destroyed in 1929 to make way for the Empire State Building.