Gilded Age Mansions on Fifth Avenue: At Home with the Astors and Vanderbilts

So we don’t know if you’ve heard, but New York City is beloved A place to live these days. So we thought it was time to revisit the story of the city’s most famous luxury district – Fifth Street.

About a hundred years ago, it was mostly this way residential-But the dwellings are of the most extravagant kind.

Fifth Avenue at 51st Street in 1900. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

At the heart of New York’s Gilded Age — the late 19th century era of unprecedented American wealth and excess — there were families bearing the names Astor, Waldorf, SchermerhornAnd Vanderbiltalong with powerful players such as In Stuart, Jay GouldAnd William “Boss” Tweed.

They will all make their homes, and in the Vanderbilts’ case, theirs great Many houses – on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

Fifth Avenue’s image as a luxury retail destination today grew out of the street’s aristocratic reputation in the 19th century. The rich were inextricably drawn to the street as early as the 1830s when rich merchants were keen to be near the magnificent row houses of Washington Square ParkHe began turning it into an artery of expensive housing.

The Vanderbilt Mansion at 660 Fifth Avenue, 1885, Library of Congress

In this podcast, Tom and Greg introduce a world that’s somewhat difficult to imagine — free-standing mansions on a private lane running through midtown Manhattan.

Why was Fifth Avenue destined to become the domain of the so-called “Top Ten”? What changed in the city in the twentieth century to ensure that most of it was eventually destroyed?

The following is an edited and remastered transcript of two previous Bowery Boys shows – The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Avenue Palace. Taken together, they tell the full story of Fifth Avenue, from the streets’ initial development in the 1820s to downtown’s transformation into a mecca for upscale shopping in the 1930s.

Listen now: Gilded Age Mansions on Fifth Avenue

This could also serve as a prequel to the HBO series the doctrine age, The official podcast co-hosted by Tom Myers starting October 30th.

Fifth Avenue – North 66th Street from 1900. LOC

Listen more

Watch episodes Mr. Doctrine For all your Gilded Age needs. Here are some episodes you might like:

And these latest episodes of the Bowery Boys would be a good companion to this one as well:

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