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Petit Chateau, Fifth Avenue

Manhattan, New York

Completed in 1882, for William Kissam Vanderbilt (1849-1920) and his first wife, Alva Erskine Smith (1853-1933). 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.