There was a moment, about 1880, when New York City’s avenues mirrored gleaming columns of palaces built for business tycoons like Vanderbilt, Astor, and Carnegie. Nevertheless, features of the metropolis may have altered in recent years, and an economic giant today could choose to live differently with a unique lifestyle.
Love The Gilded Age
There will still be estates, mansions, manors, and other buildings that previously inhabited and hosted titans of business, industry, and banking, as well as the nobility and world leaders, and that were once utilised to host glamorous party goers.
The Carnegie Mansion
Andrew Carnegie travelled north in quest of property big enough to contain a lawn, rather than joining his friends who were concentrated further south along Fifth Avenue. He discovered it on 91st Street and Fifth Avenue and supervised the building of a 64-room English Georgian farm house in Manhattan.
Despite its pastoral qualities, the home was revolutionary at the time: it was also the first American property to feature a steel structure, as well as one of the first one to get a personal Otis Elevator with heating systems. In 1902, Carnegie relocated in and stayed till his demise in 1919. His namesake charitable firm donated the property to the Smithsonian in the mid-1970s, and the Cooper-Hewitt became its owner in 1976.
The Morgan House
Murray Hill was the chosen playground of New York’s wealthy until they moved farther uptown and claimed the Upper East Side—after all, it was where Caroline Astor, the Mrs. Astor, resided. A triad of brownstones erected in the mid-1800s for the Phelps, Stokes, and Dodge households were some of the area’s notable residences. The homes were bought between 1881 and 1904 by financier John Pierpont Morgan, who lived in one (that was destroyed in 1928), razed the other for a park, and gave the final, a 45-room brownstone, to his son Jack. It is now housed at the Morgan Library.
The Morgan Library
J.P. Morgan acquired a penchant for buying in rare books and manuscripts as his riches rose to ever greater heights. His holdings had overflowed his own dwelling by the early twentieth century, so he asked McKim, Mead & White to create a library opposite site that would meet his rigorous requirements. In 1906, the Wall Street Journal said, “He desired the most ideal building that human hands could create and was ready to pay whatever it cost.”
The Metropolitan Club
J.P. Morgan is also responsible for the Metropolitan Club, a private club he founded in 1891 with participants including William K. Vanderbilt and James A. Roosevelt (a nephew of new president Teddy Roosevelt). The McKim, Mead & White-designed structure still maintains its original spirit today, however the club now welcomes women.
The Sinclair House
The Sinclair House, named after one of its subsequent owners (oil magnate Harry Sinclair), was constructed in the late 1800s in the French Renaissance style by C.P.H. Gilbert and is still one of New York City’s most unusual structures. Both the man who commissioned the enormous urban castle, entrepreneur Isaac Fletcher, and architectural experts were struck by its Gothic spires, gargoyle heads, and detailed embellishments. The Ukrainian Institute of America has called this site, which sits on the junction of Fifth Avenue and 79th Street, home until 1955.
The Villard Mansions
Locomotive mogul Henry Villard built 6 Italian Renaissance era mansions on Madison Avenue well before he declared bankruptcy. They were constructed well around 1 percenters’ architectural design bragging right of the moment: a patio, apparently influenced by his favourite palazzos in Italy. The residences moved through a lengthy line of owners when his wealth changed, eventually becoming the centrepiece of the Palace Hotel (currently the Lotte New York Palace) in the 1970s.