18. Goethe House, 1014 Fifth Ave

1014 Fifth Avenue

Across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1014 Fifth Avenue is a remnant of the last days of the Gilded Age. Built as one half of a pair in 1906-1907, the Beaux-Arts structure was created by real estate developer brothers William and Thomas Hall. They hired the architectural firm of Welch, Smith & Provot to design the buildings.

These Gilded Age mansions were filled with the most modern amenities, including some of the first Otis elevators in New York City and plumbing and heating systems. After serving as a private residence, 1014 Fifth Ave was purchased by the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1961 it became Goethe House, a center for German culture. At Goethe House. there were plays, exhibitions, and other cultural events. In 2008, the mansion was deemed unsafe as a public space and was abandoned for nearly a decade.