7. The Villard Houses, 455 Madison Ave
White designed these six neo-Italian Renaissance townhouses for Henry Villard, a journalist, financier and early president of the Northern Pacific Railway. The brownstone structures are arranged into one U-shaped unit surrounding a courtyard originally planned as a turn-around for carriages. This landmarked “House of Mansions” has a stately and dignified appearance based on sixteenth century palaces.
The Villard Houses remained private residences until the 1970s when the wings were taken over for non-profit use. In 1981 the central structure became the Helmsley Palace Hotel, a luxury hotel. After more changes in ownership and a multi-million dollar restoration, the building is now the city’s largest luxury hotel, the Lotte New York Palace.