20. William Starr Miller House, 1048 Fifth Avenue
The William Starr Miller House was occupied for a few years by Grace Vanderbilt beginning in 1944. The home was completed in 1914 for William Starr Miller II and his wife Edith Caroline Warren. It was designed by Carrère & Hastings and was inspired by early 17th-century Parisian architecture. Edith was also the brother of Whitney Warren of Warren & Wetmore, yet she did not choose the firm to design the mansion. The Beaux-Arts building stands at the corner of East 86th Street and was occupied by Edith until her death in 1944.
Grace Vanderbilt moved here from 640 Fifth Avenue, and she considered the move quite the downgrade, calling it “the Gardner’s Cottage.” The home featured rooms inspired by the Place des Voges, which was built to celebrate King Louis XIII’s engagement to Anne of Austria. Other French-inspired rooms in the mansion included the oak-paneled Louis XVI Drawing Room, as well as Mrs. Miller’s Louis XVI Bedroom and Boudoir. Grace seemed like she could never be satisfied, even considering 640 Fifth Avenue “the Black Hole of Calcutta” upon first entering. However, she lived at the Miller House until her death in 1953, and the mansion eventually was converted into the Neue Galerie.