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Petit Chateau

660 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York

Completed in 1882, for William Kissam Vanderbilt (1849-1920) and his first wife, Alva Erskine Smith (1853-1933). It stood at Fifth Avenue on the corner of 52nd Street, directly to the north of the Vanderbilt Triple Palace that occupied 640 and 642 Fifth Avenue. The socially mobile Mrs Alva Vanderbilt designed her first showpiece mansion in conjunction with the architect Richard Morris Hunt (1827-1895). Morris took an impish joy in guiding Alva towards modelling it on the Palais Jacques-Coeur - built for the wealthiest upstart in 15th century France! This Gilded Age Fifth Avenue gem was purchased by a developer in 1926 and unceremoniously torn down for redevelopment. Today the site is occupied by 666 Fifth Avenue.     




Image H.N. Tiemann & Co. 1898. 5th Avenue north from 52nd Street. Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York. X2010.11.4755.