Alva Vanderbilt’s Party of the Century

March 26, 1883 “Petit Chateau” – 660 Fifth Ave @ 52nd Street When Alva Vanderbilt built a home, she built a castle, and when she threw a housewarming party, it was the party of the century. Alva Vanderbilt, the wife of William Kissam Vanderbilt (Commodore’s grandson), had a mission: to carve out her own rightful…

Alva Vanderbilt’s “Petit Chateau”

Completed 1882 Demolished in 1926 Architect Richard Morris Hunt 660 5th Ave at W 52nd Street If you found yourself back in the 1880s and were standing at the corner of West 52nd Street and Fifth Ave, you’d be in awe of the massive castle-like white limestone structure modestly referred to as “Petit Chateau.” The…

Vanderbilt’s 5th Ave Triple Palace

Completed 1881 Demolished 1945 A stretch of Fifth Ave from 52nd to 58th street has the moniker of Vanderbilt Row. Although now mostly gone and forgotten, it was once upon a time lined with glorious mansions which belonged to the Vanderbilt family. Cornelius Vanderbilt, the dynasty founder, was crude, uneducated and pretty cruel to all,…

Owls in Manhattan

James Gordon Bennett Jr. was obsessed. His obsession was quite unusual – it was owls. Some of them, with flickering eyes, can be seen on Herald Square, guarding James Gordon Bennett Monument. Herald Square takes its name from the New York Herald, a newspaper founded by James Gordon Bennett Sr and inherited by Gordon Bennett…

NYC Bars Mobile App

NYC Bars: Guide to Speakeasies and Historic Bars mobile app Click here to download Delve into the intriguing history of secret speakeasies and bars with NYC Bars: Guide to Speakeasies and Historic Bars! New York has a fascinating story to tell. To discover it, a museum visit isn’t always necessary… try going to a bar instead! Step back…

Jefferson Market Library

The striking High Victorian Gothic building doesn’t just look beautiful… it’s certifiably beautiful. In 1885 Jefferson Market was voted as one of the 10 most beautiful buildings in the United States by a national poll of architects! Location: 425 6th Ave Built: 1873-77 Architects: Frederick Clarke Withers and Calvert Vaux Originally known as the Jefferson Market Courthouse,…

The Players

The Players is a private social club formed to promote communication among artists and patrons of the arts. Modeled after London’s famed Garrick Club, The Players was the first American club of its kind. Location: 16 Gramercy Park South Built: 1844 Architect: Stanford White The Players was founded in 1888 by Edwin Booth, the widely-known…

Oyster Bar

OYSTER BAR Inside Grand Central Terminal, 89 E 42nd St A New York institution serving oysters since 1913. As you enter the room, the first thing you’ll notice is the cave-like multi-arched ceiling laid with interlocking terracotta tiles. They were created by Rafael Guastavino, whose brickwork can also be found in the Municipal Building, at…

Employees Only

EMPLOYEES ONLY 510 Hudson St Exquisite cocktails and delectable food in a sensual Art Deco atmosphere. Even though Employees Only is a modern-day speakeasy (it opened in 2004), the building it occupies dates to 1827. Initially, it was intended as a simple residential structure for working-class families. As it changed hands, the ground floor was…

Dear Irving

DEAR IRVING 55 Irving Pl Inspired by Woody Allen’s movie Midnight in Paris, the bar features four rooms representing four different eras in history. The room closest to the entrance represents the 1960s, where you can imagine Don Draper-types drinking their martinis. The F. Scott Fitzgerald room has the Great Gatsby feel of the Roaring…