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Take a Walking Tour of 11 Marvelous Upper East Side Mansions

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Welcome to the second installment of Neighborhood Tours, a new feature in which Curbed maps out architecturally interesting buildings and sites ripe for an exploratory weekend jaunt. Up next: the Upper East Side. Have other areas you'd like to see covered? Let us know.

Sure the Upper East Side is known for its historic and stately buildings, but in a quick moving-city like New York, it's easy to forget—or never learn—the stories behind the structures that made them significant. Wealthy New Yorkers began moving north from the mansion district of Fifth Avenue in the 50's following the late 1800's encroachment of business in the neighborhood, and the paving-over of the below-grade train that ran to Grand Central Station down Park Avenue. What became the new extension of Millionaire's Row saw the construction of some of the most architecturally significant homes in the city, many of which still stand today. Take a peek at the map, or a stroll if so inclined, and marvel in the histories of just a few of the marvelous mansions that line the streets.


Special thanks to architectural history buff Tom Miller of DaytonianInManhattan for his help and insight, and sharing his extensive knowledge.
· Daytonian In Manhattan [official]
· Take a Walking Tour of Nine Must-See Buildings in Cobble Hill [Curbed]
· Neighborhood Tours archives [Curbed]

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1. Jonathan Bulkley Mansion

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600 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Commissioned by printing magnate Jonathan Bulkley in 1911, this James Gamble Rogers-designed residence is a stately home in the Modern Renaissance style. At once the site of many a lively high-society reception, the building became the home of the Swedish government's Consul General in 1946. As of 2011, the building was home to the Swedish Ambassador to the United Nations.

2. Henry T. Sloane Mansion

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9 East 72nd Street
New York, NY 10021

The brief home of the "ambitious" Ms. Jessie A. Robbins and Henry T. Sloane was designed by Carrere & Hastings for the new couple and completed in 1896. By the time the couple moved into the French limestone mansion, Ms. Robbins had "discovered" Perry Belmont, son of politician August Belmont, and was divorced from Sloane in 1899. The grand marble residence was then rented to Joseph Pulitzer and family—including his 17 servants—and was purchased by a James Stillman in 1901, who occupied the site until his 1918 death. Following the death of it's next proprietor, carpet magnate John Sanford, the home became the site of several institutions, including the Lycee Francais which adjoined it with the neighboring French-style mansion. In 2010, the massive building was purchased by the emir of Qatar for $26 million.

3. Henry Cook Mansion

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973 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10037

In 1880, railroad and banking royalty Henry Cook bought the whole block between 78th and 79th streets, Fifth to Madison avenues for which he paid $500,000. Cook commissioned a grand mansion, his second on the block, from Stanford White of well-known firm McKim, Mead & White in which he sought to display his prized art collection. White's Italian Renaissance-style creation was never lived in by Cook, who died mid-construction. Cook's daughter inherited the house and sold it to Jospeh Fuller Feder in the early 1900's. The Church of Latter Day Saints purchased the impressive property and used it as a space to school missionaries in the art of conversion. In 2011, the 15,000-square-foot home was put on the market for $49 million, and sold in 2012 for $42 million.

4. Edward C. Converse Mansion

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3 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

This home sits on land once owned by banking and railroad man Henry Cook, who, similar to Andrew Carnegie, bought the block surrounding his home in an act to regulate his neighbors. Banker Edmund Cogswell Converse cleared the first hurdle to building on Cook's land, which he stipulated would only embrace private residences. Converse contracted architect C.P.H. Gilbert for the French Gothic-style stunner. Complete in 1900, the at once stand-alone mansion soon welcomed equally prestigious neighbors. Just a few years after moving in, Converse sold the home to Standard Oil director Henry Rogers. The home was again passed to Rogers' friend in 1913 for a stunning $400,000. In 1964, the building was renovated to hold high-end apartments, which it houses to this day.

5. Isaac D. Fletcher Mansion

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2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Designed to imitate the arresting white facade of William K. Vanderbilt's Fifth Avenue home, railroad investor Isaac Fletcher hired C.P.H. Gilbert in 1898 to design his French Gothic limestone mansion. The asymmetrical manse was occupied by Fletcher until his 1917 death. In his will, Fletcher donated his home as well as 251 art objects from his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The following year, the museum sold the home in order to fund a collection in Fletcher's name to Sinclair Oil founder Harry Sinclair who in turn sold it to the last surviving descendant of Peter Stuyvesant to carry the surname, who moved into the home and lead a reclusive life with his sister. After Stuyvesant's death, the home was purchased in 1955 by the Ukrainian Institute of America, which maintains the home as open to the public.

6. J.S. Uhlman Mansion

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24 East 81st Street
New York, NY 10028

Leather merchant and Special Deputy Police Commissioner Julien Stevens Ulman bought this building from an early developer, who commissioned the architectural firm of Buchman & Fox to bring the five-story limestone neo-Renaissance home to fruition. Despite the historic facade, the 34-room home's interiors were fully modern at the time with elevators, electric lights, and steam radiators. Years after Ulman's 1920 death, his widow sold the manse to Hagop Kevorkian, an Armenian-born archaeologist, art connoisseur and collector. The Bentley School bought the building in 1941 for $125,000 to accommodate it's growing student-body, but sold it in 1946, when it was converted into an apartment building with two units per floor. In 1964, the second floor was converted into the modern art-touting Bykert Gallery. Today, the home's largely preserved parlor level is home to Crown, an upscale restaurant operated by John DeLucie.

7. Lewis Gouveneur Morris Mansion

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1015 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028

A modern-looking home at the time of its construction, the 1914 house of Lewis Gouveneur Morris and his distant cousin and wife Alletta Nathalie Lorillard Bailey was constructed following the power-couple-of-antiquitie's union (Morris, the descendant of a Declaration of Independence signer, and Bailey, descendent of colonial leader Robert Livingston). The home was designed by Ernest Flagg in the Georgian and Federal styles, and included gas and electric fixtures. The home is currently owned by the Avi Chai foundation, which seeks to support "alienated and assimilated Jews worldwide." While the home takes the more stately Park Avenue address, its entrance is on 85th Street.

8. Reginald DeKoven Mansion

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1025 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028

This John Russell Pope-designed mansion was once the home of Reginald DeKoven, composer of "light opera and popular songs" such as "O, Promise Me," and his wife, Anna DeKoven, who penned "The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones." The English country estate-inspired home was erected on the 60-foot-wide Park Avenue lot in 1912, following the covering of the train tracks that ran down Park Avenue to Grand Central Station. The home was constructed with a large, double-height room in the front, where the well-liked couple held parties. Following Reginald's 1920 death, the home was sold and subdivided into 11 apartments.

9. John Henry Hammond Mansion

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9 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128

This mansion was gifted to John Henry Hammond and his wife Emily Vanderbilt Sloane upon their marriage by the bride's father, William D. Sloane, who purchased the land from Andrew Carnegie for the execution of a Carrere & Hastings-designed Renaissance-style mansion. Completed in 1903, the grand home had a second-floor ballroom and a fifth-floor squash court used more for roller skating in the childrens' older days. The Hammonds lived in the home for 44 years, where nary a cigarette or sip o' booze was consumed. The house was purchased by an opthalmologist who, just one year after the US-USSR consulate agreement in 1974, sold it to the Soviet Union for $1.6 million. After much turbulence, the Russian consulate finally moved into the building in 1995.

10. James A. Burden Jr. Mansion

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7 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128

The land on which this stately house sits was purchased from steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, who snatched up the land surrounding his own house to regulate his neighbors, by carpet magnate William D. Sloane on the occasion of his daughter's marriage to James Abercrombie Burden Jr. Architects Warren and Wetmore, also behind Grand Central Terminal, were commissioned to design the Beaux Arts manse ripe for entertaining. Following Burden's 1932 death, the home was leased with all of its exotic furnishings and artwork to socialite John Jacob Astor VI. In 1938, the widowed Burden sold off the home's interiors and it was sold to the Convent of the Sacred Heart which, along with the neighboring mansion, occupies the site to this day with an all-girls Roman-Catholic school.

11. Francis Palmer Mansion

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75 East 93rd Street
New York, NY 10128

Commissioned by banker Francis F. Palmer in 1916, the stately Colonial Revival home that stands today was designed by firm Delano & Aldrich. The home had a large side court that served as a formal garden, but that was not enough for banker George F. Baker Jr., who acquired the home in 1926 and gobbled up an adjacent lot creating frontage of 100 feet down park Avenue and 139 feet down 93rd Street. Baker reenlisted Delano & Aldrich to create a garage with upper-level servants quarters adjoined to the mansion via a "ballroom wing." The main house was purchased from the widowed Mrs. Baker, who had converted the garage's servants quarters into her pied-a-terre, in 1958 by The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The once-elegant garden was converted into a courtyard entrance, and the "ballroom wing" into an assembly hall.

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1. Jonathan Bulkley Mansion

600 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10029

Commissioned by printing magnate Jonathan Bulkley in 1911, this James Gamble Rogers-designed residence is a stately home in the Modern Renaissance style. At once the site of many a lively high-society reception, the building became the home of the Swedish government's Consul General in 1946. As of 2011, the building was home to the Swedish Ambassador to the United Nations.

600 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10029

2. Henry T. Sloane Mansion

9 East 72nd Street, New York, NY 10021

The brief home of the "ambitious" Ms. Jessie A. Robbins and Henry T. Sloane was designed by Carrere & Hastings for the new couple and completed in 1896. By the time the couple moved into the French limestone mansion, Ms. Robbins had "discovered" Perry Belmont, son of politician August Belmont, and was divorced from Sloane in 1899. The grand marble residence was then rented to Joseph Pulitzer and family—including his 17 servants—and was purchased by a James Stillman in 1901, who occupied the site until his 1918 death. Following the death of it's next proprietor, carpet magnate John Sanford, the home became the site of several institutions, including the Lycee Francais which adjoined it with the neighboring French-style mansion. In 2010, the massive building was purchased by the emir of Qatar for $26 million.

9 East 72nd Street
New York, NY 10021

3. Henry Cook Mansion

973 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10037

In 1880, railroad and banking royalty Henry Cook bought the whole block between 78th and 79th streets, Fifth to Madison avenues for which he paid $500,000. Cook commissioned a grand mansion, his second on the block, from Stanford White of well-known firm McKim, Mead & White in which he sought to display his prized art collection. White's Italian Renaissance-style creation was never lived in by Cook, who died mid-construction. Cook's daughter inherited the house and sold it to Jospeh Fuller Feder in the early 1900's. The Church of Latter Day Saints purchased the impressive property and used it as a space to school missionaries in the art of conversion. In 2011, the 15,000-square-foot home was put on the market for $49 million, and sold in 2012 for $42 million.

973 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10037

4. Edward C. Converse Mansion

3 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075

This home sits on land once owned by banking and railroad man Henry Cook, who, similar to Andrew Carnegie, bought the block surrounding his home in an act to regulate his neighbors. Banker Edmund Cogswell Converse cleared the first hurdle to building on Cook's land, which he stipulated would only embrace private residences. Converse contracted architect C.P.H. Gilbert for the French Gothic-style stunner. Complete in 1900, the at once stand-alone mansion soon welcomed equally prestigious neighbors. Just a few years after moving in, Converse sold the home to Standard Oil director Henry Rogers. The home was again passed to Rogers' friend in 1913 for a stunning $400,000. In 1964, the building was renovated to hold high-end apartments, which it houses to this day.

3 East 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

5. Isaac D. Fletcher Mansion

2 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075

Designed to imitate the arresting white facade of William K. Vanderbilt's Fifth Avenue home, railroad investor Isaac Fletcher hired C.P.H. Gilbert in 1898 to design his French Gothic limestone mansion. The asymmetrical manse was occupied by Fletcher until his 1917 death. In his will, Fletcher donated his home as well as 251 art objects from his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The following year, the museum sold the home in order to fund a collection in Fletcher's name to Sinclair Oil founder Harry Sinclair who in turn sold it to the last surviving descendant of Peter Stuyvesant to carry the surname, who moved into the home and lead a reclusive life with his sister. After Stuyvesant's death, the home was purchased in 1955 by the Ukrainian Institute of America, which maintains the home as open to the public.

2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

6. J.S. Uhlman Mansion

24 East 81st Street, New York, NY 10028

Leather merchant and Special Deputy Police Commissioner Julien Stevens Ulman bought this building from an early developer, who commissioned the architectural firm of Buchman & Fox to bring the five-story limestone neo-Renaissance home to fruition. Despite the historic facade, the 34-room home's interiors were fully modern at the time with elevators, electric lights, and steam radiators. Years after Ulman's 1920 death, his widow sold the manse to Hagop Kevorkian, an Armenian-born archaeologist, art connoisseur and collector. The Bentley School bought the building in 1941 for $125,000 to accommodate it's growing student-body, but sold it in 1946, when it was converted into an apartment building with two units per floor. In 1964, the second floor was converted into the modern art-touting Bykert Gallery. Today, the home's largely preserved parlor level is home to Crown, an upscale restaurant operated by John DeLucie.

24 East 81st Street
New York, NY 10028

7. Lewis Gouveneur Morris Mansion

1015 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028

A modern-looking home at the time of its construction, the 1914 house of Lewis Gouveneur Morris and his distant cousin and wife Alletta Nathalie Lorillard Bailey was constructed following the power-couple-of-antiquitie's union (Morris, the descendant of a Declaration of Independence signer, and Bailey, descendent of colonial leader Robert Livingston). The home was designed by Ernest Flagg in the Georgian and Federal styles, and included gas and electric fixtures. The home is currently owned by the Avi Chai foundation, which seeks to support "alienated and assimilated Jews worldwide." While the home takes the more stately Park Avenue address, its entrance is on 85th Street.

1015 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028

8. Reginald DeKoven Mansion

1025 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028

This John Russell Pope-designed mansion was once the home of Reginald DeKoven, composer of "light opera and popular songs" such as "O, Promise Me," and his wife, Anna DeKoven, who penned "The Life and Letters of John Paul Jones." The English country estate-inspired home was erected on the 60-foot-wide Park Avenue lot in 1912, following the covering of the train tracks that ran down Park Avenue to Grand Central Station. The home was constructed with a large, double-height room in the front, where the well-liked couple held parties. Following Reginald's 1920 death, the home was sold and subdivided into 11 apartments.

1025 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10028

9. John Henry Hammond Mansion

9 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128

This mansion was gifted to John Henry Hammond and his wife Emily Vanderbilt Sloane upon their marriage by the bride's father, William D. Sloane, who purchased the land from Andrew Carnegie for the execution of a Carrere & Hastings-designed Renaissance-style mansion. Completed in 1903, the grand home had a second-floor ballroom and a fifth-floor squash court used more for roller skating in the childrens' older days. The Hammonds lived in the home for 44 years, where nary a cigarette or sip o' booze was consumed. The house was purchased by an opthalmologist who, just one year after the US-USSR consulate agreement in 1974, sold it to the Soviet Union for $1.6 million. After much turbulence, the Russian consulate finally moved into the building in 1995.

9 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128

10. James A. Burden Jr. Mansion

7 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128

The land on which this stately house sits was purchased from steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, who snatched up the land surrounding his own house to regulate his neighbors, by carpet magnate William D. Sloane on the occasion of his daughter's marriage to James Abercrombie Burden Jr. Architects Warren and Wetmore, also behind Grand Central Terminal, were commissioned to design the Beaux Arts manse ripe for entertaining. Following Burden's 1932 death, the home was leased with all of its exotic furnishings and artwork to socialite John Jacob Astor VI. In 1938, the widowed Burden sold off the home's interiors and it was sold to the Convent of the Sacred Heart which, along with the neighboring mansion, occupies the site to this day with an all-girls Roman-Catholic school.

7 East 91st Street
New York, NY 10128

11. Francis Palmer Mansion

75 East 93rd Street, New York, NY 10128

Commissioned by banker Francis F. Palmer in 1916, the stately Colonial Revival home that stands today was designed by firm Delano & Aldrich. The home had a large side court that served as a formal garden, but that was not enough for banker George F. Baker Jr., who acquired the home in 1926 and gobbled up an adjacent lot creating frontage of 100 feet down park Avenue and 139 feet down 93rd Street. Baker reenlisted Delano & Aldrich to create a garage with upper-level servants quarters adjoined to the mansion via a "ballroom wing." The main house was purchased from the widowed Mrs. Baker, who had converted the garage's servants quarters into her pied-a-terre, in 1958 by The Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. The once-elegant garden was converted into a courtyard entrance, and the "ballroom wing" into an assembly hall.

75 East 93rd Street
New York, NY 10128