The mansard-roofed brownstone featured in this week's Cornerspotter last belonged to Helen Gould, the wife of the notorious businessman Jay Gould. Commenter Ferryboi knew the building instantly, linking to a post on Daytonian in Manhattan that details the 1869 building's history. It was originally built for George Opdyke, the 76th mayor of New York City. Gould, who's ranked as "the 8th worst American CEO of all time," bought the house for $250,000 after Opdyke's death in 1880. Gould and his wife both died before the 20th century, but their daughter, also named Helen, lived in the house until her death in 1938. Unlike her father, she was a charitable woman, and in her obituary, the Times called her "the best loved woman in the country." Her husband lived in the house for a few more years before he also died. Then around 1950, all of the Gould's belongings were auctioned off, and in 1952, plans were filed for a new 16-story building, which is what occupies 579 Fifth Avenue today.
· Hint: A House Built For A Mayor, Replaced By A High Rise [Curbed]
· The Lost 1869 Gould Mansion -- No. 579 5th Avenue [Daytonian]