The Lost & Forgotten Gilded Age Mansions of Fifth Avenue

Beginning with the first residence erected on the still unpaved street in 1834, Fifth Avenue became the home of Manhattan’s wealthiest citizens — but as the decades progressed, the seemingly endless row of lavish brownstone, marble, and limestone mansions began to be replaced one-by-one by office buildings. This is the story of those long-forgotten mansions and prominent families that once defined New York’s most famous avenue.

Join New York Adventure Club and historian Tom Miller for a digital walk up 19th-century Fifth Avenue, to discover the remarkable homes that once lined the avenue from Washington Square to 53rd Street.

Taking place just off of Fifth Avenue inside the Church of Sweden’s hidden midtown chapel, our lecture and digital showcase of these mostly-forgotten treasures and their captivating stories will include:

  • historical overview of Fifth Avenue and how it became the most exclusive residential thoroughfare in the city
  • A deep dive into the incredible stories surrounding Fifth Avenue’s most famous residences, including the Henry Brevoort mansion (the avenue’s first home, which set the tone of the street for more than a century to come), the picturesque country estate of Waddell Castle, and free-standing Madam Ann Restell mansion (which was shunned by society because of her scandalous profession)
  • Popular photographs and paintings of many of these iconic Fifth avenue homes
  • A brief Q&A session with Tom Miller — any and all questions about New York’s Gilded Age are welcome!

See you there!

*Since the presentation is taking place on the second floor after the building closes to the public, please note latecomers will not be able to enter ~10 minutes after the start time.

About Tom Miller

Architectural and social historian Tom Miller is the author of Seeking New YorkSeeking Chicago, as well as the popular blog “Daytonian in Manhattan.” Since 2009 Tom has published a blog post on a different Manhattan location every day — now totaling more than 3,000.

His research and reporting focus as much on the social histories of the buildings — the tragedies and sorrows, triumphs and scandals of the people who built and lived in the houses — as on their architecture and styles. Tom Miller’s retelling of these stories make the buildings come alive; and suddenly they are more than brick, marble, and limestone, but the histories of real people.

Categories: Historic Sites, Hidden Spots, Arts, Social











When: Tue., Feb. 18, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Beginning with the first residence erected on the still unpaved street in 1834, Fifth Avenue became the home of Manhattan’s wealthiest citizens — but as the decades progressed, the seemingly endless row of lavish brownstone, marble, and limestone mansions began to be replaced one-by-one by office buildings. This is the story of those long-forgotten mansions and prominent families that once defined New York’s most famous avenue.

Join New York Adventure Club and historian Tom Miller for a digital walk up 19th-century Fifth Avenue, to discover the remarkable homes that once lined the avenue from Washington Square to 53rd Street.

Taking place just off of Fifth Avenue inside the Church of Sweden’s hidden midtown chapel, our lecture and digital showcase of these mostly-forgotten treasures and their captivating stories will include:

  • historical overview of Fifth Avenue and how it became the most exclusive residential thoroughfare in the city
  • A deep dive into the incredible stories surrounding Fifth Avenue’s most famous residences, including the Henry Brevoort mansion (the avenue’s first home, which set the tone of the street for more than a century to come), the picturesque country estate of Waddell Castle, and free-standing Madam Ann Restell mansion (which was shunned by society because of her scandalous profession)
  • Popular photographs and paintings of many of these iconic Fifth avenue homes
  • A brief Q&A session with Tom Miller — any and all questions about New York’s Gilded Age are welcome!

See you there!

*Since the presentation is taking place on the second floor after the building closes to the public, please note latecomers will not be able to enter ~10 minutes after the start time.

About Tom Miller

Architectural and social historian Tom Miller is the author of Seeking New YorkSeeking Chicago, as well as the popular blog “Daytonian in Manhattan.” Since 2009 Tom has published a blog post on a different Manhattan location every day — now totaling more than 3,000.

His research and reporting focus as much on the social histories of the buildings — the tragedies and sorrows, triumphs and scandals of the people who built and lived in the houses — as on their architecture and styles. Tom Miller’s retelling of these stories make the buildings come alive; and suddenly they are more than brick, marble, and limestone, but the histories of real people.

Categories: Historic Sites, Hidden Spots, Arts, Social

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