Corolyn Faville Ober.

Manhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; online

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handsome buildings at the western side of
Fourth Avenue, between 69th and 70th Streets.

1 04 MA NHA T TA N.

This property is valued at two million-s of
dollars. The Presbyterian Hospital covers
the block between 70th and 71st Streets,
and Madison and Fourth Avenues. The
Freundschaft Club House is in 72 d Street,
east of Fourth Avenue, and the Flemish
mansion, built for Mr. Tiffany, but until re-
cently the elegant home of Mr. Henry Villard,
is in 72 d Street, at the northwestern corner of
Madison Avenue.

After inspecting the exterior of this unique,
but palatial residence, the visitor will be pleased
to begin the tour of the principal residence
street of the city, — far-famed


The Lenox Library Building, which
stands in Fifth Avenue, between 71 stand 70th
Streets, was erected by James Lenox, at a cost
of over one million dollars, and endowed by
him with a permanent fund of two hundred
and fifty thousand dollars. An example of the
French classical Renaissance style of archi-
tecture this imposing structure is made most
pleasing to the eye because of the extreme
purity of its design. A fagade of ninety-two
feet faces Fifth Avenue, which, with the wings
that support it on either side, forms a court
that is completed by a high stone wall with


massive iron gates. The material used in the
construction of this building resembles light
granite, but is in reality Lockport limestone.

The library, which occupies the wings, con-
tains about thirty thousand volumes, in-
cluding: Shakesperiana, Americana, many
first editions of the Bible, a perfect copy of
the " Mazarin Bible," (the first complete printed
book known, supposed to be the product of
Gutenberg and Faust, at Mainz, in 1450) ; a
large folio Latin Bible printed by Koberger,
at Nuremberg, 1477, — which is densely inter-
lined in the handwriting of Melancthon, — some
"block books," that represent the stage of
printing before movable types superseded
the Chinese fashion of cutting the page on a
wooden block, and many rare books from the
early presses of Europe, the United States,
and Mexico. There is also a valuable collec-
tion of manuscripts, to which recently has
been added a twelve-thousand-dollar treasure
superbly illustrated by Giulio Clovio. The
picture gallery, occupying the main por-
tion of the second floor, contains many fine
paintings, chiefly modern. Among them are
several Wilkies, Verboeckhovens, Stuarts,
Reynolds's, and Leslies; also two Turners
and two Copleys ; besides an Andrea del Sarto,
a Delaroche, a Gainsborough, and a Horace


Vernet. Munkacsy's " Blind Milton Dictating
'Paradise Lost' to his Daughters," — which was
considered to be the gem of the Paris Exposi-
tion in 1878, — is one of the most attractive
paintings in the gallery. The collection also
embraces a large number of portraits, includ-
ing one of Bunyan, — which is believed to be an
original, — and five of Washington, three hav-
ing been painted by Rembrandt Peale, one by
James Peale, and one full-length by Stuart.
This gallery recently has been further en-
riched by the late Mrs. Robert L. Stewart, who
bequeathed to it her valuable paintings.

The library is open every week-day, except
Monday, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. No admis-
sion fee is charged.

Between the Lenox Library Building and
59th Street many stately mansions with broad
porches and richly decorated vestibules, sug-
gest a most inviting hospitality. This por-
tion of Fifth Avenue, and the streets that lead
eastward from it, quite recently have become
a fashionable residence quarter.

The Progress Club, an organization of He-
brew gentlemen, occupies the handsome
building at the northeastern corner of 63d
Street. This edifice is Italian Renaissance in

The approach to the park entrance in 59th


Street, called the plaza, is surrounded by three
elaborately constructed hotels. The elegant
residence of Mrs. E. B. Alexander is at No. 4
West 58th Street. The home of Cornelius
Vanderbilt, at the northwestern corner of 57th
Street, is a beautiful specimen of the modern
French Renaissance style of architecture. The
English Gothic house at the southwestern cor-
ner of the same street, is the residence of
Ex-Secretary William C. A¥hitney. C. P. Hunt-
ington is erecting a handsome mansion oppo-
site, at the southeastern corner. The elabo-
rate edifice in the early Gothic style, at the
corner of 55th Street, is the Presbyterian
church over which Dr. John Hall presides.
St. Luke's Hospital occupies the northwestern
corner of 54th Street. The Gothic structure
at the corner of 53d Street, is St. Thomas'
Episcopal Church. The interior of this build-
ing, which is particularly pleasing both in color
and in architectural design, contains paintings
by John La Farge.

The Vanderbilt Residences. — The re-
markably beautiful home of W. K. Vanderbilt,
at the northwestern corner of 5 2d Street, is a
very fine example of French Renaissance (just
emerging from the Gothic) of the time of Fran-
9ois the First. The connected brown-stone
houses between 5 2d and 51st Streets, are


occupied by the widow of William H, Vander-
bilt, and her daughter, Mrs, Sloan. Mrs. Van-
derbilt possesses a very choice collection of
paintings, and her gallery has been very freely
opened to the public in the past ; but the abuse
of this privilege, having necessitated much
more rigid rules, it is now quite difficult to
obtain admission. The Roman Catholic Male
Orphan Asylum is opposite. No. 634 is the
residence of D. O. Mills.

The Cathedral of St. Patrick. — Be-
tween 51st and 50th Streets stands a white
marble edifice, which is the finest church
building in the United States. Its elaborate
architecture is of the decorated Gothic, or geo-
metric style, similar to that of the cathedrals
of Rheims, Cologne, and Amiens, on the con-
tinent, and the naves of York Minster, Exeter,
and Westminster, in England. Its length is
three hundred and six feet, its width is one
hundred and twenty feet, and its towers are
three hundred and thirty-five feet, and nine
inches in height. The Fifth Avenue entrance
is at present very imposing, but its effective-
ness will be greatly enhanced by the statues
of the twelve apostles that eventually are to be
placed within the grand portal.

The same architectural style is preserved
throughout the interior of the cathedral.



Massive columns of white marble, elaborately
sculptured, support springing arches of exqui-
site proportions. The ceiling is groined with
richly moulded ribs and foliage bosses. The
high altar is of marble, inlaid with semi-precious
stones, with the divine passion carved in bas-
relief on its panels. The tabernacle over the
altar is decorated with Roman mosaics, pre-
cious stones, and a door of fine gilt bronze.
The throne of the cardinal, which is Gothic in
design, is at the right of the sanctuary. Among
the beautiful stained-glass Avindows there are
thirty-seven memorials. Many paintings adorn
the walls, the most admirable of which, by
Costazzini, hangs over the altar of the Holy
Family. When the Chapel of Our Lady,
which is included in the design, is completed,
the entire cost of construction will be about
two million, and five hundred thousand

The cathedral was projected by Archbishop
Hughes in 1850, and dedicated by Cardinal
McCloskey in 1879. ^^ i^ open every day in
the week.

The home of the Democratic Club is at No.

The church edifice at the corner of 48th
Street, is one of three belonging to the Colle-
giate Dutch Reformed Society, next to Trin-


ity, the oldest and wealthiest ecclesiastical
corporation in the country. This organization,
chartered by William the Third in 1696, vests
the title and management of its large property
in a legislative body, called the consistory, in
which each of the three churches is repre-
sented. The one just mentioned, the third of
the series, is a fine specimen of ornamental
Gothic architecture in brown stone. The
residence of Jay Gould is at No. 579. The
rooms of the American Yacht Club are in
No. 574. No. 562 is the residence of J.W.
Harper, Jr. The Windsor Hotel is opposite,
between 46th and 47th streets. The Church
of the Heavenly Rest (Episcopalian) is just
above 45th Street. The residence of Chaun-
cey M. Depew is around the corner, at No.
22 East 45th Street.

The Church of the Divine Paternity
(Universalist) , long known as Dr. Chapin's
church, is at the southwestern corner of 45th
Street. The interior decoration of this edifice
is quite a departure from orthodox ecclesias-
tical styles. Musical services are held here
Sunday evenings that offer a rare treat to visi-
tors. Rev. Charles Eaton is the present

Temple Emanuel. — The attractive edifice
with minaret towers, at the northeastern corner


of 43d vStreet, is the finest vSpecimen of Sara-
cenic architecture in the city. The interior
also is very elaborate, being profusely deco-
rated Avith rich oriental colors. Rabbi Gott-
heil, who preaches in this synagogue, is popu-
lar with both Jew and Gentile.

The Century Club House, at No. 7 West
43d Street, is occupied by a society of the
most influential literary, artistic, and profes-
sional celebrities. This association, founded
in 1847, has but recently erected its present
home, the ornate style of which represents the
school of Italian Renaissance.

The Reservoir. — The distributing reser-
voir of the Croton water- works, between 42 d
and 41st Streets, is one hundred and fifteen
feet above tide-water, and has a capacity of
twenty millions of gallons. Its sombre stone
walls covered with vines, are rather pictur-
esque than otherwise.

Bryant Park. — At the rear of the reservoir
is another restful shady spot in the midst of
the city's busy life. This plot of ground was
covered in 1853, by the Crystal Palace, a build-
ing constructed of iron and glass, and erected
for the purposes of an international exhibition.
As a novelty it created great enthusiasm, and
the display of sculpture and painting gave a
special impetus to the patronage and culture


of the fine arts. An attempt was made to
maintain a perpetual art exhibition in the pal-
ace, bnt the worthy effort failed. The " House
of Glass" was also the scene of a magnificent
ovation to Cyrus W. Field, when, in 1858, the
Atlantic cable had abolished the ocean as a
barrier of intercourse. Shortly after this
memorable event the beautiful building, with
its glittering dome and lofty galleries, was
destroyed by fire.

A colossal bronze bust of Washington Irving,
which stands near the 40th Street entrance to
the park, was executed by Beer, a European
sculptor, and presented to the city by a private
citizen, in 1866.

The Republican Club occupies commodious
quarters at No. 450 Fifth Avenue.

The Union League Club House. — The
elaborate building of red brick and brown
stone, at the northeastern corner of 39th Street,
is Italian Renaissance in design, and occupies
a site which displays its architectural features
to very fine advantage. The interior decora-
tions are extremely tasteful, and the arrange-
ment of the halls, galleries, and various rooms
is well suited to the requirements of cultured
gentlemen. The library contains over three
thousand volumes, besides rare collections of
engravings and etchings. A magnificent

A/ A NHA TTAN. 115

fresco by La Farge adorns the ceiling of the
dining-room. Landscape paintings, and por-
traits that are owned by the club, hang on the
walls of the different apartments, but the gal-
leries are reserved for monthly exhibitions of
loan paintings. To these, ladies are admitted
if provided with cards from members. The
annual reception given by this club, is always
one of the most brilliant of the New York

The Union League, really the child of the
United States Sanitary Commission, was or-
ganized in 1 863 , as a league of men of " absolute
and unqualified loyalty to the United States,"
who were unwavering in their efforts to sup-
press the Rebellion. The club is still the
stronghold of the Republican party, but since
the war it has been more social than political
in its character.

The home of Austin Corbin is at No. 425.
The rooms of the St. Nicholas Club are at No.
415. This society is composed exclusively of
gentlemen of the Knickerbocker stock, the
families of whom resided in New York State
prior to 1785. The Brick Church (Presbyte-
rian) is at the 37th Street corner. A former
edifice belonging to this society once was a
conspicuous feature of City Hall Park. No.
400 is the home of Robert G. Ingersoll. Pierre


Lorillard lives near by, at No. 389. One of
the oldest and most fashionable of clubs, the
New York, occupies the Queen Anne mansion
at the 35th Street corner.

The Stewart Mansion. — The former resi-
dence of the late A. T. Stewart, at the north-
western corner of 34th Street, was built about
1866, at a cost of two millions of dollars. It
is constructed of pure white marble, and arch-
itecturally is a good exemplification of the
classical Italian Renaissance. The rare paint-
ings and statuary that Mr. Stewart collected,
have been scattered in many directions, and
the house having been unoccupied for several
years has had the appearance of a stately
mausoleum. It is now the home of the Man-
hattan Club, — an organization intended to ad-
vance democratic principles, and promote so-
cial intercourse.

The residence of William Astor is opposite
the Manhattan Club House, at No. 350 Fifth
Avenue. A former residence of the Astors
recently has been replaced by the hotel at the
33d Street corner. The Knickerbocker Club
House is at the northeastern corner of 32d
Street. The members of this organization
belong to exclusive social circles. Several
coaching and polo teams form a part of the
club institution. A new and elaborate hotel


at the southwestern corner of 30th vStreet, is
called the Holland House. Holland Church, the
second of the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Soci-
ety series, stands at the 29th Street corner.
It is built of Vermont marble, in the Roman-
esque style of architecture, and in front of it is
placed the "silver-toned bell," to which refer-
ence has been made. A silver baptismal basin,
— procured in 1694, and engraved with a sen-
tence composed by Dominie Selyns, — is an-
other relic of the past, still in use in the Dutch
Reformed Church recently erected at the
corner of Second Avenue and 7th Street.

The Little Church Around the Cor-
ner. — Just east from Fifth Avenue, in 29th
Street, stands the Church of the Transfigura-
tion, made famous because an actor was per-
mitted burial rites at its altar. The Reform
Club (Democratic), organized for the purpose
of promoting ballot and tariff reform, has its
home at the northeastern corner of 27th vStreet.
The Hotel Brunswick is between 27th and 26th
Streets, and Delmonico's is opposite, at the
26th Street corner. The historical house for-
merly the home of Professor S. B. Morse, is at
No. 5 West 22d Street. The Union Club
House, at the northwestern corner of 21st
Street, is the home of a non-political institution
ranking very high socially. The Lotos Club,


which occupies the house at the northeastern
corner of the same street, is composed of art-
ists, actors, literary and professional men.
This organization gives a series of receptions
to ladies every year, when artist members ex-
hibit their new paintings. No. 109 was the
home of the late August Belmont, who pos-
sessed one of the finest collections of paintings
in the country. Chickering Hall, at the i8th
Street corner, is used for concerts, lectures,
etc. The Society for Ethical Culture meets
in this building every Sunday morning to lis-
ten to the eloquent discourses of Felix Adler.
Mrs. Marshall O. Roberts lives at No. 107.
Edwards Pierrepont resided at No. 103, and
the home of Vice-President Levi P. Morton is
at No. 85. The First Presbyterian Church is
at the corner of nth Street, and the Church
of the Ascension is at the loth Street corner.

The Ascension of Christ, by John La
Farge. — This great painting, which occupies
an area forty feet square, above the altar in the
last mentioned church edifice, is considered to
be, by many good critics, the most important
work of its kind yet produced in the United
States It is crowded with a multitude of life-
size figures, ranged in ascending vaults on
either side of the central Christ. The painting
is very powerful both in color and sentiment,


and may be viewed any afternoon, as the
church is open daily at that time.

General Daniel E. Sickles lives at No. 31,
.and John Taylor Johnston at No. 8, after
which residence Fifth Avenue emerges into

Washington Square. — This inviting park
occupies about nine acres of ground. In the
early New York days it was a potter's field,
surrounded by wretched shanties, and called
Union Place. When in 1832, the city con-
verted it into the Washington Parade Ground,
and expended large sums of money for its
improvement, fashionable residents were at-
tracted to the locality, who gave to it the
aristocratic features that have characterized
it to the present time.

Washington Square has been the scene of
several brilliant pageants, one of the most
elaborate of which occurred November 1830,
as a public demonstration of the sympathetic
joy which America felt for the French people,
who had dethroned their faithless and tyran-
nical monarch, Charles the Tenth. This cele-
bration was participated in by members of
every profession, officers of the army and
navy, and a vast number of persons who rep-
resented the trades. Several individuals were
present who had borne an active part in our
own Revolution ; among them were Ex-Presi-


dent Monroe (who died soon afterward) , and
two persons who had hoisted the American
flag at the Battery after the departure of the
British troops in 1783.

In 1889, during the centennial celebration
of Washington's inauguration, the Square w^as
one of the prominent places of interest in the
city, the military and civic parade both passing
through it. A wooden arch, erected for this
occasion at the Fifth Avenue entrance, has
been reconstructed in stone, as a memo-
rial of the event. The corner-stone of this
arch was laid May 1890, the Bible used
during the ceremony having been the one on
which Washington took the oath of office as
first President of the United States.

A music-pavilion, a fountain, and a statue
of Garibaldi, are placed in this park; the latter
ornament, which was a gift to the city from
Italian residents, is the work of Giovanni

An unsuccessful attempt has been made to
secure ground in the Square for an entrance to
the Hudson River tunnel, which probably will
come to the surface in an adjacent street.
This herculean enterprise is expected shortly
to be complete. Two other equally great
attempts to connect our Island with the shores
east and west of us are being made, work hav-


ing- been egun on both. One project is to
tunnel the East River from Long Island to
our city, and the other is to bridge the Hud-
son River in order to make New York, instead
of the towns on the New Jersey side, the ter-
mini of western railroads.

The Judson Memorial at Washington
Square South. — A shining cross, at a height
of one hundred and sixty-five feet, attracts at-
tention every evening to a new and peculiar
religious institution, which has just erected a
series of buildings including, a church, apart-
ment house, kindergarten, gymnasium, chil-
dren's nursery, and young men's club. These
together form a monument to the memory
of Adoniram Judson, the first American for-
eign missionary. The incredible hardships
and practical Christianity of this hero sug-
gested a tribute that should be in keeping with
his useful life. The church, which is free and
within easy access of the poorer classes, and
the institutions connected with it, are to be
supported by the receipts of the apartment
house. Rev. Edward Judson, a son of the
missionary, is the present pastor of the church.
It was he who projected the work, and secured
by subscription, the funds necessary to mate-
realize the project. The cost of construction,
four hundred thousand dollars, was covered



by the contributions of wealthy individuals
from all parts of the country.

The University of the City of New
York. — The Gothic structure with four octan-
gular towers, which stands at the eastern side


of Washington Square, was erected in 1835,
the University having been established in 183 1,
by public-spirited merchants and professional
men. Professor Samuel F. B. Morse, who was
one of the first professors of this institution,
invented the recording telegraph in a room
within this building ; and in another apartment
nearby, Professor John W. Draper first applied
photography to the reproduction of the human
countenance. Portraits of the chancellors, and


of many distinguislied members of tlie council
and faculties, are on the walls of the council-
room. Henry M. MacCracken, D.D., LL.D. ,
is the present Chancellor.

The departments consist of the Schools of
Art, Science, Medicine, and Law, the latter
recently having been opened to women . There
is a graduate and an undergraduate division,
the latter having been successfully carried on
since 1832, the former only since 1886.

Another building belonging to this corpora-
tion, is in 26th Street, near the East River. It
was erected in 1879, ^^^ is appropriated to
the Department of Medicine. Much of the
instruction is given to students in Bellevue
Hospital, which is close by.

At No. 9 University Place, — a street extend-
ing northAvard from the University to Union
Square, — the New York College for the Train-
ing of Teachers instructs students Avho already
have acquired the elements of a secondary
education, the degree conferred being that of
Bachelor of Pedagogy. The departments in-
clude the history, philosophy, and principles
of education ; the science and art of teaching
psychology, and manual training. The col-
lege also provides, by an extension system,
free classes for teachers, mothers, and chil-
dren, and a free lecture-course for the public.



"The Circle," at Eighth Avenue and 59th
Street, is the point at which Broadway termi-
nates and the Boulevard begins.

The Twelfth Regiment Armory is situ-
ated at the corner of 62 d Street and Ninth
Avenue, and a similar structure, belonging to
the Twenty-second Regiment, stands in the
Boulevard, at 67th Street.

The Dakota Flats occupy the corner of
Eighth Avenue and 72d Street.

The Somerindyke House, which once
stood in Ninth Avenue, near 75th Street, was
the home of royalty during its exile. Here
Louis Philippe and his brothers, the Due de
Montpensier and the Comte de Beaujolais,
taught school for their living; and here they
were visited by Queen Victoria's father, the
Duke of Kent.

The Apthorpe Mansion, another residence

of historic interest, was where Washington

remained during the evacuation of New York,

only retiring to Washington Heights with his






staff, one hour before the British officers took
possession of the premises. This house stood
at the corner of Ninth Avenue and 91st Street,
and only recently has been demolished.

MORNINGSIDE Park, lately appropriated for
its present purpose, is now being improved by
the park commissioners. A retaining- wall
rests on the western ledge, which forms the
roadway called Morningside Avenue. Hang-
ing terraces and a terrace walk greatly enhance
the beauty of these grounds. The East River,
the suburban region of Long Island, and the
wooded hills beyond, are visible from that por-
tion of the park which soon is to be converted
into a mall, and embellished with shade trees.
At I nth Street, where now stands the Leake
and Watts Orphan Asylum, an elaborate and
costly Episcopal cathedral is to be erected.

The Bloomingdale Insane Asylum, — a
department of the New York Hospital, — is in
Tenth Avenue, between 114th and 120th
Streets. This institution received its title from

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Online LibraryCorolyn Faville OberManhattan: historic and artistic; a six day tour of New York city; → online text (page 6 of 12)