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Cornerspotted: Havemeyer House at 38th St. and Madison

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This site at the corner of 38th Street and Madison Avenue did indeed once belong to the Quaker merchant Robert Murray, as was correctly guessed, however the pictured estate was erected by a baron of sugar refining, Theodore Havemeyer.

Havemeyer erected his estate in 1866 in the Second Empire style that was, at the time, all the rage in Paris. Havemeyer and his wife Emily de Loosey would raise their nine children inside of the home. Complete with carriage house and servants quarters, the lot stretched from 242 to 244 Madison Avenue. According to Daytonian in Manhattan, Havemeyer was appointed Consul General for the Austrian Empire following his father-in-law's death and was subsequently decorated as an Austrian Baron. Havemeyer was also the first president of the United States Golf Association, and frequently held executive committee meetings in his opulent home.

Following Havemeyer's death, Emily leased the home to prominent financier Clarence Mackay, whose wife, the suffragette Katherine Mackay, would often hold civil rights-promoting meetings in the home. Following the Mackay's divorce and Emily Havemeyer's death, the home was put up for sale. The neighborhood was changing; in 1915 the New York Times reports, "The inability to rent the big Havemeyer house at anything like a reasonable rate shows very clearly the reluctance of tenants who are able to maintain a house of that size to move into the old Murray Hill zone."

The neighborhood was rising vertically, and the once-grand mansion of Theodore Havemeyer was demolished to make way for the sixteen-story "mercantile apartment house" that occupies the corner-lot to this day.

And another interesting tidbit: Robert Murray, the aforementioned Quaker merchant, made his estate on an area of land that stretches roughly from what would become 33rd Street to 39th Street, and from Lexington to Fifth Avenue. It was the highest area in Manhattan and would later become—wait for it, wait for it—Murray Hill.

For a more intricate look back on the Havemeyer House and its history, hop on over to Daytonian in Manhattan.
· The Lost 1866 Havemeyer House—244 Madison Ave [Daytonian]
· Hint: This Second Empire Mansion Belonged to a Baron [Curbed]
· Cornerspotter archives [Curbed]