Last week, we walked you through the many mansions, predominately lost, along Millionaire’s Row on Fifth Avenue up to 59th Street. Most of this stretch has been converted into upscale luxury retail and corporate skyscrapers, but Millionaire’s Row continued northwards along Central Park, which opened in 1857. Though some have been lost, a significant number of these opulent Gilded Age mansions still stand within this more residential zone. The AIA Guide to New York City calls this area of Fifth Avenue from 59th Street to 78th Street the “Gold Coast,” and rightly so.
Walking up 5th Avenue, you’ll first pass the decadent Sherry-Netherland Hotel with its recently uncovered 1927 Beaux-Arts mural and the Stanford White-designed Metropolitan Club, founded by J.P. Morgan in 1891 for friends who were rejected from the old-money Knickerbocker Club. But even before the construction of the Metropolitan Club, a mansion was rising less than a block away on 61st Street and Fifth Avenue.
Jabez A. Bostwick was a founding partner and treasurer of Standard Oil, and moved his family into this 10-room French Second Empire mansion in 1876 on the corner of 61st Street. When his daughter married, he extended the mansion to 801 and 802 Fifth Avenue.
Various tragedies hit the Bostwick family over the years and the home was purchased by family friend Mrs. Marcellus Hartley Dodge, a daughter of William Rockefeller in 1922. From the get-go, Mrs. Dodge intended to redevelop the property but it sat seemingly abandoned until 1977. Today, it is a 33-story luxury apartment building. The three-story ground floor facade leads to a set-back tower, which is in accordance to requirements within the Fifth Avenue Special Zoning District. According to the AIA Guide, the new building “matches in height–but not in ambience–the Knickerbocker Club to the north.”