9. Stanford White’s Seduction Lair at Madison Square Garden

Second Madison Square Garden
Photo from Library of Congress

The second Madison Square Garden (the last actually at Madison Square), was a Moorish-style building designed by playboy architect Stanford White in 1890. It had a 33-story tower, making it the second-tallest skyscraper in New York City at the time. White had an apartment in the tower, out of public view. It provided White with a private place to entertain and seduce. One of the objects of his affection was Evelyn Nesbit, a well-known model and chorus girl dubbed “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” White, who was married, got caught in an ill-fated love triangle between Nesbit and her millionaire husband Harry Thaw.

White’s tower apartment gave him easy access to the entertainment on the rooftop pleasure garden at Madison Square Garden, and it is there that Nesbit’s husband, shot him in the head. White had long since moved on from Nesbit, but Thaw was reportedly mentally unstable and had a long-running hatred of White.

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This article was originally written by Michelle Young and Laura Itzkowitz and updated by Nicole Saraniero in January 2023