Lost mansions of 5th Ave
Photo from Library of Congress

Fifth Avenue had a major glow-up in the Gilded Age went it transformed from a pathway called Middle Road to a coveted address nicknamed Millionaire’s Row. A long stretch of the famous thoroughfare, from 59th Street to 78th Street, was known as the place where the wealthiest and most elite of New York City’s society lived. It was home to Vanderbilts, Astors, Beekmans, and more of the city’s “who’s who.” Gilded Age. While there are many gorgeous buildings that still exist from this time, there are others that have sadly been lost. Here, we revisit the lost mansions of 5th Avenue:

Mansions of Fifth Avenue Tour

Ukrainian Institute

1. William K. Vanderbilt Mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue

This Fifth Avenue home of William K and Alva Vanderbilt wasn’t just a home, it was a tool Alva used to break in to New York City society. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, this opulent mansion is where Alva hosted her infamous “Fancy Dress Ball” with 1,200 guests. The mansion was built of stone quarried from Caen, France and it was decorated with furniture and antiques from grand homes in Europe. Ironically called Petit Chateau by the Vanderbilts, the mansion was demolished in 1926 after being sold to a real estate developer. 666 Fifth Avenue, an office tower, now stands in its place.