2. Payne Whitney House, 972 Fifth Avenue
Now home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, 972 Fifth Avenue was designed by Stanford White as a mansion for Payne Whitney, a financier and philanthropist who was well-known for his racing and breeding stables on Long Island and Kentucky. Whitney’s wife lived in the house after his death until she too passed away in 1944. The building was purchased by the Republic of France in 1952.
The mansion was designed in the style of the high Italian Renaissance with a curved light gray granite front and pitched tile roof with a deep overhanging stone cornice. In 1970, the five story structure was designated as a landmark and recognized as “one of the last reminders of the Age of Elegance and “an integral part of the last complete block of impressive town houses remaining on the Avenue.”