3. 10 Washington Place, Manhattan

Cornelius Vanderbilt and Sophie Johnson moved to 10 Washington Place in Greenwich Village just a few years after completing their Staten Island home. However, the Manhattan home was not the luxurious and fresh new start that Vanderbilt hoped for. Johnson was so in love with the Staten Island home that when she had to move to Manhattan for Vanderbilt’s business ventures, she refused to leave. The Commodore’s response was to put her in a mental asylum for three months — or until she changed her mind. She ultimately moved to Washington Place, not because of her husband’s aggression but because she discovered that her husband was having an affair with their daughter’s governess.

10 Washington Place stood four stories high and was made of red brick with trimmed brownstone. The ground floor contained a lower great hall that contained a marble statuette of “The Commodore.” The Drawing Room notably lacked much art, in comparison to Mrs. Astor’s House. Many of Vanderbilt’s friends spent time in the second-floor sitting room, which contained a portrait of his mother. Vanderbilt passed away in 1877, and the property was given to his wife, who died eight years later. Eventually, Vanderbilt’s grandson Cornelius Vanderbilt II inherited the property, but he had little need for another mansion, so he sold it to merchant brothers Isaac and Henry Meinhard who knocked it down and replaced it with a six-story structure.