7. A Critical Battle of the Revolutionary War Took Place Near the Site of Lord & Taylor

Perhaps one of the most surprising facts about the Fifth Avenue building is that a critical battle of the Revolutionary War occurred right next door. The battle took place on September 15th, 1776, following Washington’s retreat to Fulton Ferry after General Howe’s successful attack on the Continentals at Brooklyn. Washington’s troops planned to move to Harlem Heights, but were stopped by four British ships posted at Kip’s Bay on 34th street.

Washington, who had left for Harlem Heights before his troops, heard the fire and galloped back to find them on “Inclenberg,” the estate of Robert Murray. A portion of the estate is now inhabited by the Fifth Avenue Lord & Taylor building.