Walking down the streets of Manhattan, you many notice many buildings marked with flags of foreign countries. Often characterized with unique architectural features, these buildings could be consulates, permanent UN missions, administrative offices or residences for foreign ambassadors who work and reside in New York City. Some of them may be designed by foreign architects, but most of them have interesting stories of families who were prominent figures of New York. Next time you are strolling down Fifth Avenue, make sure to look out for the waving flags and take a moment to admire these architectural gems.

10. The Cultural Services of the French Embassy


The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, located at 927 Fifth Avenue is a gorgeous Gilded Age mansion formerly known as the Whitney Payne Mansion. Constructed in 1902-06 for financier and philanthropist Payne Whitney, the mansion was designed by the renowned McKim, Mead & White in the the high Italian Renaissance style.

In spring 2015, Untapped Cities attended a 12-hour nocturnal marathon event called A Night of Philosophy at the mansion, exploring the inside of the mansion between screenings, readings, art installations, performances, and lectures by 60 philosophers. For those who missed it, visit Albertine, a beautiful French bookstore and reading room in the mansion which is open to the public.