James B. Duke House

1 East 78th Street at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York

Completed in 1912, for James Buchanan Duke (1857-1925) as a wedding present for his second wife, Nannie Holt (1871-1962). Standing at the north-east corner of Fifth Avenue & East 78th Street, this 40,000 square foot mansion is an almost identical replica of the 18th Century Chateau Labottière in Bordeaux. The original house that stood in its place, the Henry H. Cook Mansion, was demolished to make way for Duke's. Impressed by The Elms at Newport, Duke commissioned the master of American Beaux Arts architecture, Horace Trumbauer to design his new home.... 

This house is best associated with...

James Buchanan Duke

James B. or "Buck" Duke, Founding Partner of the American Tobacco Company


Nanaline (Holt) Duke

Mrs "Nannie" (Holt) Inman, afterwards Duke


The plans were drawn up by Julian Abele (1881-1950), the first professional African-American architect. Since 1952, the mansion has served as New York University's Institute of Fine Arts after being donated by Duke family. The Duke House was cited as one the mansions that inspired Ralph Lauren's modern masterpiece at 888 Madison Avenue.


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