William B. Astor House
Lafayette Place, New York City
Built circa 1830, for "The Landlord of New York" William Backhouse Astor (1792-1875) and his wife, Margaret Rebecca Armstrong (1800-1872). They divided their time between here and Mrs Astor's childhood home, Rokeby, in the Hudson Valley. Their townhouse was on the "ultra-fashionable" Lafayette Place and in 1847 its rooms were filled with candles and decorations when their eldest son, John Jacob Astor III, celebrated his marriage here into Southern aristocracy. Aside from building this house for himself, William also built similar houses on the same street for his sisters too. In 1845, William's father built The Langdon House to entice another of William's sisters to stay in New York, by which time Lafayette Place had become known as Astor Place. By the 1870s, the quiet cul-de-sac became a thoroughfare and the house fell to urbanization.
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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 21/02/2020 and last updated on 09/11/2020.
Image Courtesy of the New York Public Library Digital Collections
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