17. Fabbri Mansion, 7 East 95th Street

Library at the Fabbri Mansion. Photo courtesy of the House of the Redeemer. 

The Upper East Side‘s Edith Fabbri Mansion (now the House of the Redeemer) has a rich and surprising history reaching back to the Vanderbilts, as well as the Duchy of Urbino. The property and building were bought and financed by Margaret Louis Vanderbilt Shepard as a wedding gift to her daughter, Edith Shepard Fabbri, and her son-in-law, Ernesto Fabbri. Designed by architect-of-record Grosvenor Attebury in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the building was completed in 1916 for Edith, the great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The inside was decorated by Ernesto’s brother Egisto Fabbri, who took his sister-in-law’s collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque furnishings and architectural tastes into consideration.

The library is one of the main attractions, dating back to the early 1600s in Italy, The library was built by Francesco Maria II della Rovere, the last duke of Urbino. The library was sold in the late 19th century, and in 1916, Egisto had the shelves and other fixtures shipped across the ocean. In 1949, Edith discussed the idea of turning her home into a retreat house, and a board of trustees was formed to make her idea a reality. Under the name “The House of the Redeemer,” the Fabbri Mansion is now a religious and spiritual retreat, as well as an events space.