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Cornerspotted: The Phelps-Morgan Mansion on Madison Ave.

Isaac Newton Phelps first occupied this freestanding manse at the corner of 37th Street and Madison Avenue. Phelps, whose wealth amounted to some $130 million by today's standards, made his fortune in hardware, banking, and real estate, says Daytonian in Manhattan. Banker J. Pierpont Morgan bought the mansion for his son from Phelps's daughter following the homeowner's 1888 death. Morgan Jr. lived in the house for some 40 years. After his death, the United Lutheran Church of America purchased the building, opulent crystal fixtures and all, for a mere $245,000. Under the church's ownership, the neighboring coach house was demolished to make way for a still-standing four-story modern building. Seemingly unconcerned with stewardship, the church applied for a zoning change on the site, hoping to demolish the old mansion and erect a 12- to 15-story office building. The LPC issued a rush landmark designation for the site that year hoping to subvert the church's attempts. The mansion became a part of the adjacent Morgan Library in 1988.
· The 1854 Phelps-Morgan Mansion No. 231 Madison Avenue [DiM]
· Hint: This Freestanding Mansion Was Faced With Demolition [Curbed]
· Cornerspotter archives [Curbed]