Wealth and luxury still describe Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, but it wasn’t always shopping and culture. Learn the history of Millionaire’s Row.
Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is one of the most famous streets in the world. These days, the street is known for its luxury shops, grand buildings, and iconic landmarks. But did you know that a stretch of the road (between 57th and 96th streets) was once known as Millionaire’s Row? This area was home to some of the city’s most influential families during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The art of luxury living…
Millionaire’s Row was defined by its luxurious townhouses and apartments built in various architectural styles. Each home was built to reflect the prestige and power of its wealthy owner. One of the most notable buildings from Millionaire’s Row is the Metropolitan Museum of Art on 82nd Street. Completed in 1902, it was once the home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist. Today, the museum is one of the most visited museums in the world; it’s a must-see destination for art lovers.
Another famous building on Millionaire’s Row is the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue and 89th Street. Designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, it was completed in 1959 and contains a vast collection of contemporary art.
The family way…
Millionaire’s Row housed many families that influenced history, families that we still talk about today. The Vanderbilt family purchased so much property their smaller stretch on Fifth Avenue was known as Vanderbilt Row. Henry Clay Frick, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, John Jacob Astor IV, and other historical figures all owned homes in the area at one time or another. How sad that many of these historic homes have been torn down and replaced with typical office or condo buildings.
And there’s even more to learn about Millionaire’s Row – watch the video below: