5. The Frick Mansion is the Original Home of The Avengers
Like many another native New Yorker, Stan Lee, founder of Marvel Comics, walked by the Frick Mansion as a youngster, peering through the magnificent iron fence to the fantasy palace beyond. Little wonder then but he decided that the Frick was the proper mansion for his Stark Family Manor. Sticking close to the Frick facts, Lee says the manor was built in 1932 by industrialist Howard Stark. And just as he believed that New York was the proper location for superheroes and villains, he concluded Fifth Avenue was their natural neighborhood. As co-creator of The Avengers, Lee modeled the Beaux-Arts Stark Family Manor on the Beaux-Arts Frick Mansion and located it at 890 Fifth Avenue, a sort of zoning joke for the Frick’s location at 1 East 70th Street. Today, of course, Fifth Avenue addresses are more prestigious than side street addresses, and would be the preferred address of an eminent family like the Starks.
The original Stark Family Manor was close to its iron gate on Fifth Avenue. But to give the manor the privacy superheroes needed to carry out their business, Thor and Iron Man pushed the mansion back and up to its current location a year after the Avengers moved in. The manor had nine bedrooms and bathrooms, its own Quinjet hangar, a swimming pool, an underground gym and training facility, and numerous labs. Also a billiards table much like Frick’s.