12. 854 Fifth Avenue
854 Fifth Avenue is Manhattan’s last intact Gilded Age Mansion, built in 1905 for stockbroker and future governor of Rhode Island R. Livingston Beeckman. Emily Thorn Vanderbilt Sloane White and her husband, Henry White, purchased the Warren & Westmore-designed building for $450,000 in 1925. Emily was the second daughter of William Henry Vanderbilt, and she would finance the creation of New York’s Sloane Hospital for Women in 1888. White was the American Ambassador to France and Italy and a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles.
The 32-room building has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Features such as hand-carved balustrades of white marble, ceiling frescoes of angels and clouds and an original working stove have been preserved. The home is also said to be the first in Manhattan to feature electric elevators in the front and back. Many of the ceiling frescoes were added by Emily, as well as some furniture and paintings. After Emily passed away in 1946, the home was purchased for $350 million by Yugoslavia and served as the nation’s U.N. mission. The home went up for $50 million in 2017.